Three Generations

New Delhi: Trained under the able guidance of artist Kanchan Chander; school student Nehmat Mongia, college student Pallav Chander, teacher Anita Kumar and homemaker Guneet Kumar exhibit their recent artworks for the first time in The Dawn; a group exhibition of more than 80 paintings & drawings from April 1, 2010 to April 4, 2010 at the Open Palm Court, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

Says Kanchan Chander, “Each of my students has their own artistic style and through this exhibition, I have tried to provide them with the essential professional exposure in order to broaden their horizon. The exhibition offers a lot of variety for the viewer - portraits, landscapes, aboriginal art and interesting calligraphic abstracts.”

The pattern of display and presentation of the exhibition highlights an assortment of divergent themes. For instance, twelve-year-old Nehmat Mongia’s paintings are reminiscent of the skill exhibited by master tantric artists like Sohan Qadri and O.P Sharma. This young prodigy, a Modern School, Barakhamba Class VII student, says, “All my works have been inspired by the Australian aboriginal contemporary art and reflects an inspiration that pre-dates European colonization. My work is based on traditional culture.” Her works like The Australian Bindi, The Dots Say A Lot, The Target, Bandit, Captured Soul and Chakraview are mythical representations of the landscape, hunting and foraging life-styles that the aborigines once followed.

A similar sensitivity towards art can be seen in the forty-six year-old real estate consultant Guneet Kumar’s canvases whose works “have been derived from my own personal experiences.” Her paintings in watercolours are so meticulous in their detailing that the viewer gets a sense of teeming, burgeoning life in it. For instance in Purity, through her portrayal of a lotus, she conveys the hope a person should have even during the dark phases of life while continuing to believe in the goodness of God. In yet another work titled Serenity and Solitude, she wants the viewers to connect with themselves and bring out their inner strength. The Monument series are a result of her various trips to Safdarjung Tomb with her friends.

As for the England-born forty four year-old calligraphic teacher Anita Kumar, “I started learning calligraphy since I was eleven and slowly converted that style into my art.” Inspired by Egyptian hieroglyphs calligraphic style, Anita Kumar’s artworks on first glance appears semi-abstract but as one further delves into the paintings, one sees the letter ‘Om’ beautifully drawn in bold and subtle colours. While in her ‘Mindscape’ series, she tries to depict the wavering mind of a person that always dwells in the past, present and future; in the ‘Devotion’ series, the artist skillfully portrays Lord Ganesha and Buddha through her acrylics on canvas.

If calligraphy style is Anita’s forte, then human face, is the solitary focal point in nineteen-year-old theatre actor Pallav Chander’s canvas. A final year student of BA Programme from Delhi College of Arts & Commerce and a self taught artist, “Since the age of ten, I have been acting in theatrical plays and what caught my attention was the varied emotions a person could express through his/her facial features– be it anger, happiness, jealousy, love, joy – all can be expressed and seen through your facial expressions. This urge to portray the human emotions on canvas thus became my motto.” Some of his acrylics, pastels, charcoal and ink portraits depict the innocence of a girl child named Eshna playing on the street, the trepidation experienced by a person walking through the hospital ward to fight his Dyslexic Journey, the fervor of religious festivities in Durga Puja and to the joy on being at a Reunion.

Concludes Kanchan Chander: “The exhibition is conceptualized as a dialogue of varying visual sensibilities, thoughts, beliefs, passion, struggle and understanding that reflects not just the artist’s individual preoccupation with the idea and material but also is indicative of their involvement, their interaction with each other, reactions to surrounding events and various skills and techniques that all of them have learned and explored throughout their artistic journey.”

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