Swapan Nayak's images capture transitory moments of the epiphany of being. Another art show in Bangalore props up the works of 20-odd artists
All the images in Swapan Nayak's latest exhibition at Tasveer (in association with Cinnamon) speak one language — the language of silence.
Titled “Being and Nothingness” the black and white abstract images are all of those transitory moments of the epiphany of being, as he himself describes, largely amidst nature.
Swapan deliberately excludes any personality and therefore a sense of identity.
He chooses instead to capture the unnamed everyday moments in nature that to us seem so wondrous.
Nature is always breathtaking because it is free of the baggage of names, places and things that constantly clutter the minds of city-dwellers. Nature is at rest within itself, even as Swapan captures moments in the great outdoors — in a crevice between rocks, a bunch of roots growing out of the soil, a ship moored ashore, a small stream of water flowing in between stones, a pool of algae, a field of crops with the sun shining through, or a bench overlooking a valley of clouds.
He captures the simple beauty of things that the mind usually sees but never grasps — flowers strewn on stone steps, flowers peeping out from under trees, serrations in the sand or simply the multitude of sights on the beach.
The vastness of the sky is also prominent in many of his works, a big part of what he seeks to capture.
“What is the beginning, what signals the end, I wonder? At best, life and death are two transit points in this gigantic universe. The rest is all consumed by a nothingness that even time cannot defy. As I stare at the vacuum, the mind becomes a flicker of fleeting images, with shadows between the frames. It is these ‘shadows' I try to capture in the only way I know how, through my photographs,” writes Swapan, a photojournalist-photographer.
The exhibition reflects his own journey from a village in West Bengal to the city of Kolkata.
“Being and Nothingness” will be on view until May 12 at Tasveer, #26/1, SUA House, Kasturba Cross Road. For details, contact 40535217.
A basket of art
An assorted collection of paintings by over 20 artists is currently on display at Crimson's art space.
The collection includes disparate works, largely by young artists, though there also works by senior artists like J.M.S. Mani.
Some of the more interesting works are those by Jyoti Hattarki, who paints comical lovers in an embrace; Dilip Chaudhury, with his rendition of a rickshaw puller and J.M.S. Mani's colourful portraits of rural women.
Shanth Kumar Hattarki also paints comical figures in the rotund musicians.
Dilip Chaudhury paints, first in greyscale then in vermilion, a rickshaw puller on the road. The greyscale effect is dramatised by a touch of red in spots.
There are several bright abstracts, by Mani Chakravarthi, Varun Seth and Vijay Achrekar. Ramesh Rao's work is a strange collage-like combination of landscape and abstract.
Then there are Somnath Sen's textured and mournful portraits, done in earthy colours.
Bhumika Dange's faces, inspired by Renaissance artists, are bizarre, with brushes and sunflowers in their hair and news-printed facial features.
In contrast, Nishanth Dange's charcoal and watercolour profiles of a “butterfly woman” are more soothing.
Ramesh Hari Pachpande also works with charcoal and dry pastel. His work depicts a folk-inspired couple.
Like Mani, Yasala Baliah also paints a Dravidian woman, vainly looking into a mirror, though his image is flatter and less vibrant in terms of colour.
Works by Anand Panchal, Srinath, H.R. Das, Madhuri Kale and Dilipkumar Kale and Pramod Apet are also on display.
All paintings are priced below Rs 30,000 and will be on display at Crimson, The Hatworks Boulevard, 32, Cunningham Road until May 31. For details, call 65379223.