‘Narrative Movements', the ongoing exhibition at the Faraway Tree Gallery, has an aggressively contemporary, post-modern feel to it, all chaos and kitsch, with an emphasis on plurality of identity.
The show features works of 18 artists from across the country. The collection has been shown in Bangalore, Kolkata and Puducherry , and is also currently being held (of the same title) at Budapest, Hungary.
The works done over last year and a half are almost entirely abstract, filled with metaphor and symbolism, and a definite pop-culture twist (think bright, almost neon splashes of colour).
For instance, Sanatan Saha's densely-packed, brilliantly coloured piece bursts with imagery of Nature, of birds, flowers, plants and their tangled relationship with man. Nilanjana Nandy's ‘Storm in a Tea Cup' is all dark reds and fuchsia, and takes an ironic look at our modern-day (trivial?) urban preoccupations. Sajal Kaity's purely abstract work ‘Sing' — vigorous red and black squiggles on pale yellow — conjures an imagery of loud, pumping, energetic music pulsing its way through the atmosphere.
If Manoj Dixit's bold red, yellow and black piece of a passionately-kissing couple profiled against the skyline of a city draws on images of pop culture (think movie posters), Farhad Husain's acrylic in brilliant pink and purple is inspired by pop art, and is an ironically playful comic book-like depiction of humanity with disturbingly dark undertones.
Others, such as Apu Dasgupta and Bibekananda Santra, look at questions of identity. Das Gupta's wide, uncluttered canvas of bright pink highlights against black-grey has human figures wandering as through a maze, taking a seemingly dystopian look at man's search for self in a complex world. Santra's intriguingly titled ‘When I met myself', on the other hand, is a work filled with raw emotion, all strong, furiously drawn lines that depict the multiple ‘selves' that reside within us.
Still others capture the chaos of the world we live in and its many clashing, intermingling components. For instance, Subrato Mete's collage of images seems to juxtapose our past and present, the religious and the mundane, a symbol-laden map of our existence, while Kousik Roy picks random nuggets of the many facets of urban lives — from our kitchens to our clubs — and packs them together to create a whimsical, almost absurd whole.
A standout piece in the exhibition, perhaps one that captures the essence of the collection, is Deepak Rajbhar's vast abstract, all jagged lines that seem to vibrate with emotion — jarring, powerful and yet, beautiful.
The exhibition is on until November 30.