Art beyond boundaries

From sculptures to digital art, Dhoomimal Gallery’s latest exhibition is an amalgamation of various mediums and metaphors

One of India’s oldest contemporary art gallery, Dhoomimal Gallery has on display ‘Between Body and Imagination, Shovin Bhattacharjee’s Inner Quest’, an exhibition of sculptures, physical and digital installations.

Curated by the artist himself, the exhibition covers the works done over the period of the last four years, and is an amalgamation of Bhattacharjee’s thematic concerns. Having planned to host a solo in 2019, the show was postponed due to the pandemic. 

His works range across mediums and metaphors, whether it is his sculptures, installations, paintings, or even his digital work that manifest these days as popular NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). 

To create his sculptures Shovin prefers to work in the medium of stainless steel, aluminium, and wood. 

Make a Mark 1 Wood Metal and Mirror

“Stainless steel is a medium that I enjoy working with even though it is very demanding and unforgiving. Unlike bronze that may be melted and recast and reused, in stainless steel, when one makes a mistake, one usually has to junk the entire piece and start afresh. Which is why one has to work meticulously with lots of precision and planning,” says Bhattacharjee  who works with a selected team of technicians to create his larger sculptural pieces.

Shovin’s paintings are primarily created in acrylic and charcoal on canvas. Thematically they deal with animal life engaging with urbanity. In one of his works he humorously uses the self as an onlooker, where a tiny image of the self is balanced on a large eyeball (that may also serve as a metaphor for the world) holding a pair of binoculars for viewing. 

While speaking about his Digital works, from which he creates NFTs, Shovin indicates that creating digital work takes as much effort and dedication as it does to paint or sculpt. “I began working in digital format with my camera and computer, as early as 2002, even before I moved to New Delhi,” shares the artist. 

“There was this misrepresentation that digital artwork is just about cut and paste, but I think that is changing now. People are beginning to understand that it takes as much creativity to create a digital image, whether it is from a photograph or works that you have made in 3-D in photoshop,” he adds. 

The artist strongly believes that in a post-covid scenario we all can have a little more compassion in our approach. “The world has changed after Covid. Nature itself has taught us that we cannot ignore our surroundings to the point that it endangers our lives,” says the artist. He also believes that ironically the digital and virtual world did help us survive the pandemic by keeping connected to each other and gave us hope for the future.

The exhibition is on display at Dhoomimal Gallery till January 10

(Cover: Red in Universe)

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