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Life in times of globalisation

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Dwarfing civilisation A work by Sovan Kumar.
Dwarfing civilisation A work by Sovan Kumar.

Artist Sovan Kumar’s recent works on the impact of liberalised economy.

It is the far-reaching impact of globalisation that artist Sovan Kumar wants to portray in his works. Or rather the need to contemplate deeply into its after-effect.

Talking about the Rites of Passage exhibition at the Gallery Art Konsult at New Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village, the artist explains, “Globalisation is the theme I am working on. Once I visited a very backward village in China and the next time I went there it wasn’t even a village. With industrialisation and globalisation, it had quickly changed. There were no Chinese restaurants there but McDonalds. And the same thing happened in my native town Bhubaneshwar.”

Sovan, now based in Delhi, uses acrylic on canvas with almost a fluorescent colour palette, at times against sober black backdrop. He uses his trademark iconography of trucks once again. “For me, trucks are the way to talk about globalisation and migration. People moving to towns and big cities have always been my area of interest for depiction. I have been working on depicting globalisation as in how it affects the people, the deeper impact of it,” he states.

His life-like art works are multi-hued, rich in colour and with an inherent narration, which gives the viewers a visual delight. Pointing to one of Sovan’s paintings at the show ending October 20, artist Vijendra Sharma says, “It is an interesting idea of presentation. Showcasing the burning of tyres to depict the impact of globalisation on people has been nicely presented.” ” Gallery owner Siddhant Tagore adds,“This one is more composite than his previous shows. The earlier show was about people migrating from villages to the cities. This one is about countries.”

A creation that Sovan calls the “Power of Globalisation” is made of fibre, cloth and other decorative materials. “Globalisation creeps into three things the most — the local economy, politics and religion. That is why I call them the three legs of globalisation,” he explains. In this series of work, Sovan has experimented with digital photography and made a thousand picture impressions appear on the same image with an ironic perspective.

The artist had his first solo show “Latcho Drom” in 2007. Since then his journey had been about self expression and self realisation.

R. NITHYA

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