As the winter settles in the Capital, five budding artists have come together to portray fantasies, dreams and fears that occupy the landscape of human minds.
The week-long exhibition, panchkone — a prologue to unreal, started on Saturday here at the Lalit Kala Akademi.
Though the artists — J Deepa, Pallavi Singh, Raj Kumar Sahani, Rohit Dalai and Tahsin Akhtar — will prefer introducing their work as a “collective yearning to engage with the unreal”, gentle strokes of their brushes on different canvases throw up the contradiction and struggle that the society is engaged with, apart from swinging with the sensex to meet the inflation.
The characters and narratives used by the artists through different themes have a common thread that mocks at the social conformism of the society.
For instance, J Deepa uses black coloured animal sketches to question the obsession for ‘white’ and, at the same time, challenge widespread racial discrimination and other societal prejudices.
Pallavi Singh has chosen much more provocative subject — sexual orientation of individuals.
She argues intelligently through her work regarding the need for a dignified space for persons, who are categorised as homosexuals and transgender.
Singh reveals that her works is influenced by English journalist Mark Simpson credited with coining the term metrosexual.
Similarly, Raj Kumar Sahani’s water colours add meaning to the visual lexicon of fish and boats he exhibits.
He developed the style during his field trip to interact with fishermen in Varanasi – perhaps the world’s most ancient city in Uttar Pradesh, which has inspired artists from all over the world.
Rohit Dalai, in his paintings, depicts himself as Roman emperor Caligula, who was notorious for his sexual exploits, cruelty and insanity.
His various depictions blend humour, satire, narrative, sarcasm and fantasy in bright colours.
Tahsin Akhtar’s images marry dream with existent. He portrays the growing debate of prying technology versus intrusion in personal space to show the anxieties of the contemporary world and its obsession with gadgets and surveillance.
A prologue to unreal is an unfinished project as the artists would like critics to believe. But so is the fight, to get rid of human miseries.