Drawing from Memories


Written by Vandana Kalra
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Published:May 6, 2017 12:54 am


Tanmoy Samanta; left and Dilip Chobisa

There seems a perfect harmony between the works of Dilip Chobisa and Tanmoy Samanta. At Gallery Espace in Delhi, the two artists introduce the audience to their world through subdued hues and spatial frames. Together, they reflect on the void, through their own memories and surroundings. The starting point for both is the womb. While Samanta describes void as full of darkness and silence, for Baroda-based Chobisa darkness is also silence.

“Playing around volume and void has always been part of my practice. They complement, contradict and contest each other. In this suit of works, void takes over. Void speaks volumes. In these works, I have perceived void as time, space and the whole universe of memory,” says Samanta, commenting on his minimalist works that comprise the two-person exhibition, titled “A(void)”.

Painted on Nepalese paper, he presents intricate layers in his frames that are devoid of detailing. “The absence of details opens the door to mystery and imagination,” adds the postgraduate from Santiniketan. If, in the Nocturnes series, he dwells into the dark of the night, in the opaque watercolour,

The Yellow Girl, he uses a map as a found object. Moonscape, one of his books, has him experimenting with the protractor, through which he depicts the numerous phases of the moon against a pale surface and electrocardiogram-like marks run through the composition. The form of the book as a sculptural object emerged from his endeavour to bring life back into discarded objects around three years back, when he experimented with books his father was discarding. “I was trying something as an extension to my paintings. These are old books which served their function as a vehicle of knowledge and get an altered identity,” says Samanta, 44.

Like him, memories and experiences also play an important role for Chobisa. The graphite on paper have architectural assemblages of numerous sites, with empty interiors, open doors, stairs leading to the horizon and windows with intricate jalis looking into a brick wall. “These are emotionally-charged sites with visual resemble to my inner thoughts. There is a tendency to share some thoughts, hide others, which explains the open doors and closed windows,” says Chobisa, who pursued his post-graduation in art from MS University, Baroda.

The 39-year-old even frames his own work. “It is a part of the picture and is one of the layers. I only frame after I am satisfied with the work from a holistic perspective,” he notes, leading viewers to an uncharted territory with Samanta through their work.

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