Soham Raha's (b.1994) artistic practice reflects the nuances of the ‘Baul’ and ‘Sufi’ philosophy that cultivates the quintessence of life as existence. The memories of his childhood practices and his existing music practice have been an inspiration to his artistic journey. The common thread of his artistic practice is the influence of transcendent energies in order to generate aesthetic form. From Soham’s perspective, there is an encompassing presence of sound that shapes the being of every living entity. This sound is a timeless continuum that is structured through the atoms of the universe and resides within the cosmic consciousness of the human body. From the auditory sensation of the highest frequency to the sound of silence, sound channels through invisible forms in his subconscious creating processes of visualisation. It stimulates Raha’s imagination and acts on his memory by influencing the ‘Aham Kanika’ ( The ‘I’ ). It is this subjective identification with sound that gives rise to his elemental perspectives. In a larger sense, Soham’s artistic practice is an outcome of (un)resolved ‘I’, and the notion of ‘I’ as it emerges through different (un)conscious realities. Raha’s practice unfolds spaces of accessibility in different ways between real, imaginary and symbol; between self, subconscious and cosmos as well as between eternal, interior and incomprehensible.
Pinaki Ranjan Mohanty
Pinaki is a Bhubaneswar, Odisha-based sculptor. He takes his hometown, Chilika Lake as a conceptual site to respond ecologically, culturally and historically through his artistic practice. As a sculptor, Pinaki is deeply influenced by the current materiality, literature and socio-political conditions of Chilika. The artist questions the politics of aesthetics as well as that of neo-liberal interventions to his land and its forgotten memories. Although he takes the water bodies of Chilika as the conceptual ground for his oeuvre, his larger intention is to trigger questions around global water bodies, poetic and literary references around lakes, their relationships, representations and the consequences of man-made events in post-capitalist times. Pinaki materialises his thoughts through sculptures, interactive installations and site specific works, where the spectator can be a part of his experiences. He approaches art from an extremely personal perspective which makes his oeuvre utterly and irresistibly powerful. That strength then, grows into a much larger universal landscape of concern as it demands new avenues to understand water bodies and current causality. The installation exhibited in this show draws imaginary lines of migration of the birds, of human life even, who fly adrift on clouds made of seashells from the shores of their/his home. The symbolism is apparent, poignant and irresistible - a sense of missing your home, of the feeling of home no matter where you are headed to. The dynamics of movement, of flight, of the journey and the destination is in that sense from his home counterpoised with the permanence of home.
Ruchika Wason Singh
Ruchika’s artistic practice is predominantly centred around the ideas of mark- making in the history of painting and different forms of representations from the South-Asian perspectives. Ruchika’s practice revolves around ideas of unknown spaces, forms of continuums , as she works with various traces and intentional scratches to generate a layered sense of dialogue between history, present and possible imagined futures. Very interestingly the works open visual experiences to materialise different dimensions to co- associate, relate and generate multiple meanings.
As Ruchika states, “I work with layers and forms. After a certain point of time my interest is to look at the forms, and how they divide the spaces very differently. The biggest challenge is where to stop and from where to take the forms further to generate a psychological space. A sense of un- recognisability as a form of imagination has been an integral part of my process and how through the forms of this un-recognisability there are space of relativity that can be accessed at different levels through my body of works”. The works from the exhibition is a great combination to incorporate mark-making as a conscious choice and different forms of monumentality through which a space of enhance visibility can be generated. The works, in that way, reflect a unique sensibility of thickness and transparency, both materially and metaphorically.
Tom carefully rendered paintings, rich with light effects and subdued colour tones nestle between the real and the surreal. His intuitive and deliberate compositions evolve from observed reality but are expressions of his own feelings and responses which lends them a mysterious and contemplative quality. His poignant figures, eloquent in gesture and posture are imbued with a series of evocative associations and memories.
As it gets etched in memory, so it does in stone.
The architecture and sculptures reflect the culture and ethos of a time and its significance. Sangam’s works bring to life the stories he has heard, about the yesteryears and past era. He visited these sites to contextualize the stories he had heard over the years. What he carves on the stones is based on his experiences and impressions. His sculptures are miniature versions of heritage sites around the country.
KP’s artistic practice predominantly focuses on the various visceral relationships between Nature and the Self - a being present in different times and geographies. Delusion, destitution, existential anxiety of eviction, deportation from a territory are just some of the issues he addresses in his intensely linear drawings and paintings, wherein nature and homo sapiens seem to emerge, merge out and into each other simultaneously. Through his oeuvre, KP Pradeepkumar delves into subject matters like territoriality and re-territorialisation, the constitution of monotony through various behavioural patterns, landscapes and their representations. He is a vociferous reader; philosophical thoughts and points of view on cultural practices present solutions and as well as open his mind to understanding his own role as an artist within his surroundings. In a larger sense, Pradeepkumar’s artistic practice symbolically demarcates a space for co-existence and interdependencies through the process of image-making and materiality at multiple levels.
Kundan has been working with us since 2017. He has been exploring materiality for several years, whilst studying at the Wimbledon College of Arts, London. He has made incredible work responding to his surroundings. In the "Silent pond” he states that “I have tried to amalgamate my various inquiries on one surface. I have been engaged with the representations of colonial imageries and the politics of power through representations, which I arrived at by deconstructing representations of power (history) and bringing them on a plane with images of resistances (anti-history), which could offer conflicts to be opened out and lead a possibility of reconciliation.
The set of works is based on ornaments (weapons) and artefacts of the colonies found in the various museums. I intend to seek possibilities of retrieving our histories compassionately. Peace and non-violence have been the hallmark of our culture. Poetic justice probably is the most humane and just way to deal with power non-violently.
The metaphor of water has been the quintessential trope in his works, in order to relate to every day, history, and the universal. Human beings are characterized by the variety of emotions we feel and express. “Silent pond gives a cosmic dimension to my work by transposing the earthly to a spiritual realm where everything falls in an equal plane of compassionate love and understanding.
Silent Pond may symbolize oceans, which can stand for travels and connections (circle of life). It can also stand for the multitude of human emotions expressed through tears and sweat. The floating ornaments (weapons) done in Gesso and 24-carat gold leaf might be physical representations of the artefacts of the colonial era, but they also stand for something pure, which cannot be adulterated. My works traverse these sensitive terrains of emotions both personal and public and create a palimpsest of images floating on the cosmic waters.”