The ongoing exhibition at Kalakriti Art Gallery puts up intriguing fragments of a thinking mind, to be perceived, understood and interpreted in different ways
Eleven artists have come together to put Angkor Wat in an Indian perspective. The paintings are heavily inspired from the historical Angkor Wat temples of Cambodia. The show is an outcome of a workshop that was held at Angkor Wat, putting an emphasis on the ‘Guru-Shishya' mode of teaching and learning and to draw similarities and influences between Cambodian and Indian art and culture.
R. Balasubramaniam's ‘Sculpting organisms' is a remarkable piece of work. It is a piece of accretion work where the accumulation of external matter on the surface of the work, changes the design of the work. The work brings out pictoral unity — both in its composition and its interpretative meaning. Birendra Pani's acrylic and mixed media on canvas showcases a construction site with a beheaded Buddha, titled as ‘Revision 1', the work offers enough scope to draw a parallel between tradition and development and the downward spiral of good thought. Alok Bal's emulsion and acrylic on canvas, depicting a ‘bleeding' Buddha walking on what can be interpreted as fire seems to evoke a line of questioning. Swaroop Mukherjee's works depict the temples, some in water colour, some in acrylic. The temple figurines are all done up and the mild play of light and shadow is thoughtful. Pratul Dash's untitled work's however bring out strong political flavour. You see modern buildings but with the Khmer architecture intact — harmonic design with sandstone. A tower stands on the thoughts of a winged man and you see Buddha climbing up what can be construed a metal staircase and on top adorning the tower is a temple. In his other work, you can see a barren land, Buddha overlooking and perched on top of a ‘modern' building is a woman with a placard that says: Cambodian land mine victims playing music.
Binoy Verghese's works also have an interesting tone in his painting, an archival paint on canvas, these paints allow for more layering in the work. With a big eyes staring at the viewer, you can see the lands in the background, with buildings often represented like graves. George P.J. Martin's works looks like a derivation of pop art. You can see the many figurines at Angkor Wat in black, contrasted with elements from popular culture — armed men and religion: while a baby sleeps unaware of what the world is coming to.
The exhibition is on till April 23 and is available for viewing between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.