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Thursday, January 21, 2021

‘Paan’ stains inspire art

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Featuring art inspired from walls with paan stains and the remaining pockets of nature in a thriving urban metropolis, the recent works of Saptarshi Das is available for viewing in a virtual exhibition. The online show is on till October 4.

Imposition (image source)
Gutkha stain and resin on white cement
6 x 2 inch (Each piece)

Titled ‘Encapsulated‘, the exhibition is presented by Gallery Ragini. According to the gallery, waning nature in cities has long been the focus of the attention of its residents. Nature is misplaced as humans take over space, creating an environment to suit their perceived needs and leaving only small pockets or manicured greens in between.

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READ ALSO: Indian artists document lockdown in online exhibition

Imposition 1.2 (image source)
Gutkha stain and resin on white cement
6 x 2 inch

‘Field Notes’, a series by Das, is an exploration of his yearning for the simplicity of the natural habitat of his hometown. Depleted to small pieces that grow between the cracks, these are all that is left behind in the concrete rubble. It is minute and remains unobserved by the passerby.

Another series, ‘The Museum’ is a display of small pockets of nature found in the streets of Kolkata, preserved with the same precision as and put forth for viewing like an invaluable artwork. The practices of conservation, analysis and exhibition are rendered onto specimens from the streets, otherwise left to decay. His striking piece of work ‘Van Gogh’s Flowers’ is a brilliant contemporary take on an iconic painting by the Dutch painter.

Van Gogh’s flowers 1.2 (source – IANS)
Found insects, flowers and resin on broken wall pieces
12 x 36 inch

The pandemic also finds artistic space in the current exhibition. The series ‘(IN)DISCERNABLE’/’Microbial’ by the artist is an interpretation of the microscopic form that we have learned to observe and study. It is a perception of the imperceptible.

(IN)DISCERNIBLE (image source)
Dyes, pigments and inks on resin
Circle form 30 inch

READ ALSO: Indian artist Nin Taneja spends lockdown in Australia painting native birds

As unprecedented times take over, the microbial takes center stage. The series of works ‘Am I Fine?’ documents everyday worries of living through the pandemic. The relief of not falling prey to the virus portrayed by interpretations of one’s cells – tests indicating well-being, dated and marked “I am fine.”

The portrait art series ‘Imposition’ has been created using Paan stains or gutkha (chewing tobacco) splatters, inspired by the red-stained walls of the city. On view are portraits that peep through these splashes of copper-red colour.

The show is on display at www.galleryragini.com

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