Although captions would have helped, several symbolic elements in each of the works make comprehension quite possible. Like in the first canvas—a painting that is more a wistful longing for the days long gone. Days of summer holidays, games of hopscotch, paper boats on street puddles, fascination for kites and butterflies.
Moving onto the next canvas—in stark contrast to the first one and comprising geometric shapes and figures like stairs, buildings, chairs; “There are human figures in this work because a human being hardly matters in urban existence! All you see is concrete, invading into each other’s spaces,” shares the artist, as he takes you through each of the 16 paintings and 4 installations.
While stairs are a symbol of what we want to achieve, chairs are a symbol of desire and stand for self-vested interests. “I like my works to carry a meaning as they are inspired by things that provoke me,” shares the artist, whose last exhibition was themed Tea Diplomacy. “Even the simplest act of having tea together is nothing less than a well-thought out diplomatic move. Not just between neighbours, but even among nations.”
On the brighter side, the next canvas shows a priest in meditation, holy cow, a parrot, a bullock all against the backdrop of prosperous green and cheerful yellow. “All is not lost. There are some who still stay unaffected.”
Brick by brick
Moving on, the installations—all in red bricks, borrow from life. “The first one is titled Virodh is a Strength. On the other side, you’ll see bricks all in tangent and ready to fall anytime. One the other side, they are placed one against each other and the structure is quite strong. Opposition is mandatory in any society.” Yet another installation has lit candles with melted wax trickling down to the lower part of the structure. “It is titled Happening History. Whatever is happening now, will all melt to make history.”
(On till February 27, 2016 at Punjab Kala Bhawan—16, Chandigarh)