New Delhi: Khoj International Artists’ Association presents Peers 2015, a multi-media group showby five young artists including Digbijayee Khatua (College of Art, New Delhi), Faiza Hasan (Sarojini Naidu School of Arts & Communication, Hyderabad), Mithun Das (Kala Bhavan, Shantiniketan), Shailesh BR (Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda) and Utsa Hazarika (University of Cambridge, UK). The show will open at Khoj Studios, S-17, Khirkee Extension, New Delhi from June 25 till June 28, 2015, 11 am. To 7 p.m.
Says Promona Sengupta, programme manager at Khoj: “PEERS is one of Khoj’s pioneering programmes and is a unique residency model, closely curated for recent graduates and young artists starting their professional careers. The aim is to provide infrastructure, inspiration and mentorship to emerging artists and art practices.”
Says Digbijayee Khatua about his work, “For the project, burnt matchsticks and paper have become my main medium. In addition, I have decided to work with photographs and found objects from the Khiriki village - old wooden frames, water bottles, egg cartons, flower vases, etc. Burnt matchsticks serve as a metaphor for the combustible city and its colossal constructs. Understanding the eclectic nature of Khoj and its location, I work with different forms and shapes, particularly geometric ones in the process of exploring dichotomies I find inherent to individual and societal psyche. My work depicts the contrast and diversity between rural and urban existences in close proximity. These images are sometimes shown in single frames, or otherwise fragmented or spilling out of their frames.”
Faiza Hasan’s project borrows largely from medical illustrations of the 18th Century, as well as those that came later, particularly those that illustrate the different aspects of optometry. These drawings come together in the form of a rather large atlas (tentatively titled The Atlas of Optometry) that is composed of numerous pages, pockets and sections. She says, “Among the other ideas that are also explored in the pages of the atlas are those of scrutiny and censorship that arise from my own discomfort with the possible unauthorized and unlimited access, and the prying into my personal data by third parties and its possible misuse.”
Mithun Das’s works celebrate the uncanny. The motifs which constantly recur his imagery speak of desires as well as of unknown fears. “I constantly jostle with myself in order to express my emotions through numerous marks on the surface. These marks not only decipher the tale of pleasure and pain but also hint at dreams and nightmares. Death is probably the harshest reality of life. I have access to a public hospital in Kolkata, where death, mutilations, morbid infections and grotesque afflictions of the human body are everyday reality. My figures, neither dead nor alive, constantly evolve from one form to the other, much like an unidentified metamorphosing creature. There is a subconscious urge to negate all set norms of beauty when I draw with my anxious graphic lines. Mutilated bodies and carcasses float around the surface. Many of them have strong erotic overtones. Sensuality is an integral part of my images. Oozing fluids from open wounds or transformed male phallus/female genitals teases our perception.”
Shailesh BR references his work from the frequent tremors experienced by Delhi – The Earthquake is something he has only heard of. The consolidation in terms of Iron Support and the dense structurality of Khirkee find a correlation for him in the myth of Vishnu’s Varaha Avatar who slew the demon and retrieved the Earth from the ocean and restored Bhudevi to her place in the universe. He imagines the myth as one filled with tremor yet as a tremor that signifies protection and safety. He imagines the turbulence then as the lifting of the earth by the Varaha Avatar on his tusks, reappropriating the very idea of an earthquake and its daunting implications. His work involves a series of drawings completed with text that greatly derives from his own thoughts and musings over the idea of an Earthquake and the symbolism of the Boar. This will further into a series of stationary as well as interactive sculptures (simple machines) to express his ideas rather playfully leading the viewer to his fascination with the subject.
Utsa Hazarika is working on introducing materials and objects into her video practice, and investigating the ways of storytelling they create together with the moving image. Playing with reflective surfaces allows her to work with new possibilities of the kinds of ‘screens’ onto which video is projected, and to look towards creating video installations with sculptural and architectural references. She is also looking at introducing the symbolism and associations of manufactured objects into the work, currently with earthen matkas and disco balls. She continues to work with sound, and intend to bring these elements together through the final installations piece(s).