The Academy of Fine Arts and Literature is hosting its art exhibition India, My Influence, at Arpana Fine Arts Gallery, showcasing paintings, sculptures, video and performing arts, on view from 5 to 13 February 2018.

The exhibition is curated by Durga Kainthola who is one of the artists in the exhibition. At the show which promises to be a visual spectacle, there will be displayed many distinct works by 14 artists. These artists are inspired by the multicultural facets of India. Each artwork in the show is a story in itself. The artists aim to feature their memories, experiences seen through a mythological lens and look forward to combine this mythological past with future.

With Ramayan, narrated by singing; Mahabaharat, assembled in a web with Cowries; Theyyam, performed, depicting the dancer taken over by the spirit of the goddess Bhagwati; The throne, inspired by the sunrays of Surya Dev; Tools that can kill, love & heal, displayed as every tool has its own identity and a story to tell; The one-day Bride ritual of the transgender, celebrated in the Southern part of India, captured in photographs and video; The spices; Dancing mudras of India; The melting Buddha; and more, all inhabiting one space, these very ideas of recreating mythology as glimpses from the past and present, combined, calls for an applause.

According to Kainthola, “India for me is not just a mere country but also a universe brimming with countless stories. In these stories, I often came across a range of mythological elements, which exhilarated and charmed me. Being an artist myself, this magnetic pull of mythology led me to think about this very subject in the context of art leading up to the exhibition titled, India, My Influence. A number of highly talented artists are depicting their interpretation of mythology, in the exhibition.”

Cultural and physical geographies inarguably influence the shaping of concepts, identities, ideologies, happiness, and the virtues of its inhabitants. India being the world’s largest democracy, with its dynamic cosmopolitan culture and diversity, consequently becomes an inescapable force, a powerful entity influencing our mind and rationale. It is a heterogeneous entity in terms of the varied cultures, dialects, religions, traditions and socio-economic structures that it encompasses.

Wherever you see, there appears to be a certain mythological element, gracing this ever-expanding universe. Taking a cue from the countless mythological stories, I decided to bring those together in this show. 

The artists, who feature in this exhibition, hail from different parts of the country and have traveled or migrated to different cities; thus have experienced and are familiar with this eccentricity and heterogeneity present in the country.

Through their works they prompt an element of introspection, even transgressing on the transitional histories that have shaped the country into what it is today. They explore the uniformity and the anomalies residing in the country’s complex cultural system. 

The exhibition display paintings, installations, photographs, sculptures, a video, as well as traditional Pattachitra narrative scrolls paintings that is executed by singing. 

In India, My Influence, the contemporary artistic medium is juxtaposed alongside a traditional form of visual representation and storytelling, providing a historical timeline to our very own country’s visual narrative.

India, My Influence is on view at Arpana Fine Arts Gallery from 5 to13 February

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