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Updated: September 24, 2010 21:00 IST

Shapes of the unknown

ASHRAFI S. BHAGAT
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COLOURFUL; One of K.K. Sen's works
COLOURFUL; One of K.K. Sen's works

Of paintings that explore the concepts of birth, death and beyond

According to Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung: “The creative process consists in the unconscious activation of an archetypal image and elaborating and shaping the image into the finished work. By giving it shape, the artist translates it into the language of the present and so makes it possible for us to find our way back to the deepest springs of life.”

Decoding the mystery

Delhi-based artist Kumar Kanti Sen, does precisely this in his exhibition ‘Creation, Annihilation and Eternity In Between'. He shapes his images to decode the mystery of birth, death and beyond.

The approach is premised on the Indian philosophy of birth, death and rebirth, and Sen articulates it through quasi-abstracts.

A mechanical engineering graduate and a trained industrial designer, he synthesises these experiences of art and science to give form to his ideas.

Born in Burdwan, West Bengal, Sen's upbringing was in a family that was creatively inclined. Armed with an Industrial Design Degree from NID, Ahmedabad, he was involved with national and international industrial projects with various corporate houses, till, in 2003, he decided to give up his profession to indulge his passion.

In his acrylic works, Sen articulates the tension between the self as a representation and as reality, using the human framework to explore annihilation. He amplifies ideas that lead to creation and destruction, and the eternal continuity of this looping.

His creative urge is reinforced by the use of brilliant and almost fluorescent oranges and reds. In fact, his acrylics seem to burn with this chromatic energy — a metaphor of destruction creating conflicting patterns of attraction.

Interestingly, ‘Eternity and In Between' inscribes his experiences, with moments of spiritual uplifts involving mind and body. With such complexities his works may become metaphysical texts, but, they are presented with fluid simplicity — lines, contours and appropriate colours.

An eye for the uncommon

Sen's visual language is abstract, yet he manages to make it comprehensible. The artistic vocabulary explores the maximum, through the minimum. Sen, who has travelled extensively in India, has the eye to look at common things from an uncommon perspective.

Says Sen: “As a professional designer, I stayed in many parts of India, and it affected me in many ways. I saw cultural changes — changes of beliefs, habits, in food and clothing; I had seen many different human beings and the changing faces of different strata of society. Every small experience matters in my art and design.”

Sen has also created digital works that voice his ideas about annihilation.

The show is on at Apparao Galleries until September 30.

Keywords: Kumar Kanti Sen

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