Somji’s works are an expression of his thoughts about identity, time and space in the Indian society

Through the exhibition “Our concerns over time and space”, the artist Somji draws various parallels to the vastness of the idea of time and space.

First, he explores the idea of physical presence and the search for one’s own space, especially in the way on has to work for it in public spaces.

Then he explores the idea of intellectual space, which in his mind, raises the question of identity in a pluralistic society.

This he does through his series of abstracts, which are almost always filled with figurative elements, mostly human figures, sometimes simply parts of the body or sometimes indistinguishable faces, which he juxtaposes against an abstract backdrop.

Sometimes these backdrops are composed of criss-crossing lines forming boxes, at other times they are composed of flowing lines forming flowing shapes that appear like floral motifs.

Meanwhile, the artist draws parallels between his present ideas of time and space with the issues that plague society, such as terrorism and the way it was handled by the administration through his earlier series of works, on the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai.

The artist also draws connections between the questions of identity and gender in the context of and space.

In these paintings, the colours become darker and the figurative elements, more vigorous.

But Somji’s colour palette is “earthy”, comprising shades of burnt sienna, brown, orange and amber, perhaps in keeping with the tone of his subjects.

“I have been dealing with this subject for four years, and this time I have showcases different aspects of the concerns of our time and space. For instance, I have addressed the identity crisis in society which has a telling on the happenings today. I believe that man is failing to identify his counterpart. If he is able to do that, many tragedies can be avoided,” he said.

“I have chosen to keep my work abstract because I believe in spontaneity. It is my thought process which translates into the painting.”

“Our concerns over time and space” will be on view until October 26 at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Kumara Krupa Road. For details, contact 09388606877.