Thota Tharani’s unique installation to Ankon Mitra’s origami art, a multi- ‘Hued’ showcase in Hyderabad

Hue, an exhibition in Hyderabad by EkChitra and South Bay, showcases the fascinating possibilities of art, ranging from wooden prototypes being used for a sculpture of Ganesha to origami in architectural forms

January 21, 2024 12:19 pm | Updated 12:19 pm IST

Hue, by EkChitra and South Bay, showcases nearly 100 artworks by 33 artists

Hue, by EkChitra and South Bay, showcases nearly 100 artworks by 33 artists | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The beauty of art lies in its unpredictability and immense possibilities. The large installation of Ganesha by artist and production designer Thota Tharani, on view at the Spirit building, beside Ramanaidu Studios in Hyderabad, as part of the art showcase Hue by EkChitra and South Bay, appears like a familiar iconography from a distance. Step closer and it becomes evident how the master artisan assembled the Ganesha using several wooden prototypes of machinery parts. This installation is aptly titled ‘mechanical deity’. A few feet away, Pulkit Prajapati’s artwork is more than a simple depiction of nature with its sunset hues against a waterbody flanked by flora. The distinct textures of the mixed media artwork are a result of the artist’s experiments with layers of enamel. Elsewhere, the metallic sheen in Subodh Kerkar’s mural is a reflection of the artist’s mastery of wood craft. Curated by Annapurna Madipadiga, Hue attempts to showcase art in varied forms, in collaboration with actor-producer Rana Daggubati’s multimedia enterprise South Bay.

Ganesha installation by veteran artist and production designer Thota Tharani

Ganesha installation by veteran artist and production designer Thota Tharani | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Hue is an attempt to take paintings, sculptures and installations outside the confines of art galleries, says Annapurna. Showcasing nearly 100 artworks by 33 artists from across the country at Spirit, which functioned as a visual effects and animation studio and later housed the ACK (Amar Chitra Katha) Alive learning centre, is a step in that direction. Inaugurated by film producer Suresh Babu Daggubati, Hue will be on view till January 28.

The artworks on display are as varied as they come. Art aficionados would immediately recognise the iconic depiction of a rural Telangana woman, in vermillion and turmeric hues, in legendary artist Thota Vaikuntam’s painting from the 1990s. 

Artist Charanjeet juxtaposes the imagery of Krishna lifting the Govardhana and the 10 avatars of Vishnu against stepwells, as though to salute the architectural marvels. The love for architecture gets a contemporary twist in Ankon Mitra’s ‘oritecture’ or origami artwork in architectural shapes and forms. The artwork is backlit, making it arresting enough for those visiting the exhibition to pause and observe.

Marine Disc by Subodh Kerkar

Marine Disc by Subodh Kerkar | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The love for the ocean comes to the fore in Subodh Kerkar’s murals. There’s a fascinating story of how he worked on an installation titled Marine Disc, which has striking textures and colours. A copper object was immersed in sea waters for several months and oyster shells grew on the surface. The yellow elliptical portions of the disc, almost similar to an eye, were created using pieces of an old fibreglass fishing boat that the artist found on the seaside.

Paintings and sculptures of fauna are also a recurrent phenomenon in Hue, and these are also as diverse as they come. Nayakoti Damodar’s mixed media artworks, with a pop of colours, are in forms that are a spin off of children’s toys.

An illuminated origami artwork by Ankon Mitra

An illuminated origami artwork by Ankon Mitra | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Jagdeesh Tamminenni’s woodcut block print series on tigers is almost surreal, like a vivid dream. While Masuram Ravikanth, Dhruv Patel and C Venugopal depict the fauna through sculptures, a few other artists turn their attention to cityscapes. Praveen Kumar’s depiction of an urban space at night has an occasional burst of red breaking the grey-green hues of the sky at night, while Himanshu Joshi’s mixed media work looks at a multi-storeyed residential complex in the twilight hours. As night crawls, the artist draws our attention to people who inhabit these spaces. We see them by their windows, sometimes in conversation, sometimes away from focus going through the daily grind. The orange-yellow hues of interior lighting offsets the grey-black tones of the late evening skies. 

Hue is a coming together of different generations of artists and their varied exploration of art. Step in to view works of veterans such as Thota Tharani, A Rajeshwar Rao and Padma Reddy to the younger artists such as Trupti Joshi, Vishakha Hardikar and Portarasan, among several others.

(Hue is on view at Spirit, beside Ramanaidu Studios, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, till January 28) 

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