Embedded Memories delves deep into the Indian psyche and the treasure trove of Indian culture

The exhibition “Embedded Memories” at Crimson brings a slice of Indian heritage that seems to be buried deep in the memories of the Indian psyche through the works of artists Sujata Achrekar, Sukanta Das, Nagesh Goud, and Shravan Kumar.

Each of these artists reflects upon their fondest memories of Indian heritage and culture. For Nagesh Goud, it is the great epic, the Mahabharata, snippets of which he captures in his “Puppet-Maker” series.

Nagesh’s mixed-media canvases are dominated by one or two central figures, faces of significant characters from the epic. He fills these figures with stories, scenes from the epic, such as the love story of Subhadra (Krishna’s sister) and Arjuna, Krishna’s favourite cousin, or the (in)famous disrobing or Draupadi, where Krishna plays a prominent role.

He works with flat, metallic shades that lend a graphic, narrative element to his works, which are composed of both bold lines and intricate detailing.

Krishna, who is one of the most loved figures in Indian culture, again plays a prominent role in Sukanta Das’s series. “I represent the figures of Radha and Krishna in a contemporary way. The love between man and woman is eternal and these figures represent this eternal love,” says Sukanta.

In the series on display, the central figure in Sukanta’s works is a woman with large almond-shaped eyes that are lowered as if in intoxication. The woman is covered in motifs (“body art”), which are, according to Sukanta, inspired by Indian miniatures composed of figures from nature or scenes from Indian texts such as the Geet Govind. “The body art becomes a representation of the woman’s feelings of love and longing.”

Sujata’s works are more obviously spiritual. She communicates through her central character of the Brahmin boy, with his flaming intellect.

The spiritual overtones are obviously expressed through her use of molten shades of orange, red and other bold colours. His state of blossomed consciousness or spiritual realisation is expressed through the motif of the flower. It is also apparent in his serene, unaffected expression.

The spiritual connection is also obvious in her textured backgrounds where she sometimes paints the figures of the Indian gods and goddesses.

The exhibition also features paintings by Shravan Kumar who paints a man and his demure woman lost in the romance of their embrace. “As I hail from a rural background, I have grown up watching the beautiful visuals of the village atmosphere, and the traditional folk culture on the canvas of nature. So, I am recollecting my memories through a contemporary figurative style,” writes Shravan.

“Embedded Memories” will be on view at Crimson - The Art Resource, The Hatworks Boulevard, 32, Cunningham Road until May 15. For details contact 65379223.