An exhibition at Emami Artwork, Kolkata, celebrated paper as medium and message


Brittle, sturdy. Flimsy, sturdy. We take these paradoxical qualities of paper without any consideration however since its invention in China in 105 AD by Ts’ai Lun, an official on the imperial courtroom, paper has been utilized by artists, thinkers, writers, scientists and craftsmen because the medium for his or her creations, which, thus enshrined, have survived the damage and tear of centuries, largely unscathed. The Politics of Paper, a lately concluded exhibition at Emami Artwork, Kolkata, was a celebration of those apparently irreconcilable qualities of paper. At a time when digital actuality has almost nudged bodily actuality out of our reckoning, this exhibition curated by Ushmita Sahu reminded us that artwork is a tactile expertise and that our eyes are as delicate to various textures as our dermis.

All of the contributors — Adip Dutta, Anju Dodiya, Atul Dodiya, Chandra Bhattacharjee, Jagannath Panda, Jayashree Chakravarty, Mithu Sen, N.S. Harsha, Prasanta Sahu and T.V. Santhosh — used paper as the principle medium of their works however 4 of them — Anju Dodiya, Chakravarty, Sen and Sahu — engaged with it extra bodily than the others, gouging, lacerating and even mashing it with different media to create imagined textures or shapes.

Poetry and persona

Sen evoked the terrifying fantastic thing about dying in her small, spare, delicately painted watercolours, Conjoined Twins and Unwing. Creativity and its feared dying have been additionally the theme of Anju Dodiya’s three massive works of watercolour and charcoal in vivid shades of carmine and black. The allusion to Sylvia Plath’s poetry and using display print and lithograph alongside shards of trying glass pointed at introspection and the fragmentation of persona.

CHANDRA BHATTACHARJEE’s Untitled - charcoal and dry pastel on paper

CHANDRA BHATTACHARJEE’s Untitled – charcoal and dry pastel on paper
| Picture Credit score: Emami Artwork

Inside big backlit palimpsests made with overlays of rice paper, cotton cloth, tissue and cellophane, glowed dried creepers, roots, leaves and flowers in Chakravarty’s work. They made up a fancy net, a residing entity representing nature untouched by human company.

MITHU SEN’s Unwing - mixed media on kozo paper and light box

MITHU SEN’s Unwing – combined media on kozo paper and lightweight field
| Picture Credit score: Emami Artwork

Sahu dealt each with politics — his engagement with Birbhum farmland — and paper in his Harvesting: The Untold Story,A Dialog with the Land. White paper reproductions of the land’s yield have been affixed with texts telling the tales of farmers. It made for a powerful assertion on our disregard for the very palms that feed us.

It was inconceivable to overlook Harsha’s Reclaiming the Interior House, a 12ft by 39ft panel composed of aluminium and aluminium composite panel mirror — frequent constructing materials — together with discovered cartons, acrylic and a ‘herd’ of 1,400 wood elephants. His different two works, a carton painted with myriad tiny faces and a sculpture of packaging replicated in chrome steel have been a pithy commentary on the character of consumerism and ‘mall tradition’.

In Dutta’s work, discarded and unidentified objects present in avenue corners and pavements have been endowed with a definite identification of their very own, just like the fascinating lifetime of organisms revealed below a microscope. Dutta revealed the shape hid in chaos.

ATUL DODIYA’s Bon Appetit 1 - watercolour and charcoal on paper

ATUL DODIYA’s Bon Appetit 1 – watercolour and charcoal on paper
| Picture Credit score: Emami Artwork

Atul Dodiya’s three works had the textual content of Arun Kolatkar’s poetry on paper stained with crushed charcoal and sprinkled water, which added a visible dimension to the shock worth of Kolatkar’s pungent commentary on Bombay.

Bhattacharjee utilized liquid charcoal on paper with brush to create a sequence of photographs the place noctilucent vegetation, people and mysterious extra-terrestrial objects appeared to combust in opposition to the darkness of night time, suggesting the artist’s anxiousness concerning the destruction of nature by predatory people.

Collision course

Globalisation. Consumption. Capitalism. Atmosphere. These catchwords connote Panda’s considerations, which he shares with Harsha, though the methods they specific themselves are radically totally different. Panda used wooden paper, newspaper, gaudy wrapping paper and imagery from numerous sources — classical, modern and legendary — for his suite of works, the place these components have been on a collision course, though that they had a completed look as harmonious and chic as geometric drawings.

ADIP DUTTA’s An Unidentified Sight - ink and brush drawing on paper

ADIP DUTTA’s An Unidentified Sight – ink and brush drawing on paper
| Picture Credit score: Emami Artwork

Santhosh equated paper with anxiousness: one can by no means make sure of the end result when making use of paint on a moist sheet of paper. In contrast to oil portray, watercolour is irreversible. Santhosh’s artwork is a protest in opposition to injustice, terror and violence. In a single picture, a person carrying a gasoline masks lay on a mattress, a rat entice balanced on his abdomen; in one other picture, a person with a mic sat at a desk with a bundle and a crutch subsequent to it; in yet one more, a person with a lacerated again confronted viewers.

Nature ran riot in all three work. There was no obvious signal of violence save the gashes on the person’s again, but this could possibly be the theatre of conflict with its mines, animal testing, unlawful chemical compounds and prosthetics.

In all this, the medium of the artworks — paper — grew to become as alive because the message, asking us to rethink our relationship with this apparently inert object we are available in contact with on a regular basis.

The author and artwork critic is desirous about Kolkata’s vanishing heritage and tradition.


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