Zones of Convergence / Divergence

Online exhibition featuring:

Arshad Hakim
Mithra Kamalam
Puja Mondal
Sabyasachi Bhattacharjee
Umesh Singh

12 September to 31 October 2020

  . Arshad Hakim              . Mithra Kamalam              . Puja Mondal               . Sabyasachi Bhattacharjee               . Umesh Singh                               
Puja Mondal



Puja Mondal, We shall witness the day that has been promised, 2020, watercolour, kharimati, and text transfer on wasli paper, 9 x 7 inches approx



About the Artworks


On the wounds of the silenced rebels, fester the hope for a better future. History has shown us that the broken bones, open wounds or blackened bruises inflicted by the muscular arms of oppression to force down obedience and muzzle the defiant often turned out to be triggers for the angst to overwhelm unbearable oppression with change. This work is an attempt to archive the personas from our contemporary times whose inspiring acts of defiance in the face of fundamentalist oppression ignites such sparks in my perception.

This series is a work of tribute. It talks about the innocent who had to bear the brunt of the oppressive system. From Heeba Nissar, the Kashmiri boy who was the youngest survivor of pellet wound to the mother of Najeeb Ahmed – a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University who is suspected to have been abducted by fundamentalists, the portraits idolize the images of these bystanders who lost their prized possessions due to no fault of their own.  This overwhelming sense of loss is evident in their faces which wears a deserted look. It seems as if they are mumbled by the brazenness that their life has become now. The portrait of Aishe Ghosh bandaged after being battered by right-wing goons, yet smiling; the singers performing with cages on their neck or the jubilant ‘dadi’ from Shaheen Bagh celebrates the act of protest and the bravery of raising voices when the whole world around you is staying silent. Their presence in this series reiterates that not all battles are fought to win, but some are fought to remind people there is always someone standing against despotism. These images are accompanied by the portraits of Tamil farmers protesting the unfair economic plight thrust upon them. Such visuals act as the reality check of the wrath of systemic oppression at the grass-root level.

Done on traditional Wasli paper, these works emulate the visual tropes of portraiture in miniature painting. The off-centred composition of the portraits surrounded with unequal bands of border imitating Hasiyas and the hidden images of weapons between the foliate images are all intended to fit into this design of subversion that I have devised. Moreover, the texts I had incorporated are from Ghazals by Faiz Ahmed Faiz or Ode with a lament by Pablo Neruda cements the voices of these portraits. These printed words, with letters worn off, carry a sense of being wounded for the sake of speaking up. From the words of the ghazal ‘Hum Dekhenge’ by Faiz Ahmed Faiz to the poem of Varvara Rao the printed words in these works reveal that poets who refuse to sing in the tune of the rulers are often made to shed tears to water the sea of change.





About the Artist            




Puja Mondal 
(b.1994) obtained her Master’s Degree (2019) and Bachelor’s Degree in painting (2017) from the Faculty of Fine-Arts, M. S. University of Baroda. She was awarded the Nasreen Mohamedi Scholarship-2017 and Lt Milind Madhukar Bhade Gold Medal-2019 and Narendra Gajanan Bhatt Gold Medal-2019 from her university. She also received the National Award for Painting by Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in 2016. Mondal is one of the recipients of the recent ‘Artist support Grant’, funded by Khoj Studios, New Delhi. She has participated in several camps and workshops: Master’s Practice Studio organized by The Kochi Muziris Biennale in 2018 and was selected for the program Khoj Peers Share in 2018. She has been part of several group shows including, ‘Asthabhuji’, curated by Annapurna M, Gallery 78, Hyderabad (2020); ‘Untold Summer Stories’, Gallery Exhibit 320 (2019); and ‘In green pastures and urban streets’ curated by Pranamita Borgohain, Art Pilgrim (2019). Mondal lives and works in Baroda.



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