Introspective works from the monochromatic palette

Layered mixed-media canvases, and assemblages in subtle monochromatic palette compose an introspective and revelatory exhibition in the national capital.

The exhibition, titled “A(Void)”, by artists Dilip Chobisa and Tanmoy Samanta is on view here till May 13 at Gallery Espace in New Friends Colony.

Each of the works has a unique story to tell and also manages a dialogue.

Chobisa compares the process of beginning a work as one of birthing a void. “It’s like giving birth to abstract liquid thought and transforming it into form,” he said.

According to him, the first stage is to materialise the thought, the second is to compel the material to go beyond so the blank space can be dominated by the richness of one’s life’s story.

Even though they may seem like sketches illustrating a room, Chobisa’s works of graphite on paper are vignettes constructed from memory.

They are constituted by pared down fragments exclusive of miscellanea such as objects and any other thing that may convey the sentimental.

They are visual transcriptions of his remembrance of emotionally charged sites.

The collection is not the result of references but of diagrammatically accessing the emotional equilibrium or disequilibrium that marked his encounter with the site in question to which he may or may not have forged a sense of belonging.

“I draw it with the sense of my loneliness,” Chobisa said.

Likewise, Samanta prefers to subtract sentiment or nostalgia in favour of a more complex evocation of belonging.

He, too, is emotionally invested in not just the substance of a space or an object but the emptiness that births it.

His works on Nepalese paper and particularly his books, like Chobisa’s drawings, are closer to sculptural reliefs in that they are constituted by intricate layers that attest to the multiple dimensions through which one can enter the work.

The backdrop for Samanta’s works is the void of night, which allows one to introspect and conveys a sense of infinity.

“The absence of details opens the door to mystery and imagination. The silence of the night connects us to our primordial existence,” Samanta said.

Visual vocabulary is entrenched in the corollary concepts of volume and void.

His recent move towards a more carefully calibrated minimalism through the trimming of any extraneous detail further punctuates his strategic use of texture and colour as evocations of his remembrance of home as a gestative site.

In his practice, he seems to be inching closer towards “Tao landscapes, where the vastness of the misty landscape interpreted life in a larger context and the barrenness of Islamic art that echoes the desire to transcend the complexities of life”.

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