Prasanta Sahu is a chronicler of the Indian hinterland. Hailing from a family of farmers, he is the first in his family to have a university education studying electrical engineering before finding his way into art. Now teaching art at his alma mater Kala Bhavana, he has, for more than a decade, turned the lens of his practice towards retelling the rural saga. But rather than an overtly politicised critique of the agrarian crisis, the artist adopts a sensitive, poetic retelling from an insider perspective. Based on the experiences of his upbringing, skilfully interspersed with a documentation methodology that espouses analytical, empirical data collection, Sahu actively engages with the politics of representation and truths hidden from mainstream discourse.
Sahu work across mediums, from drawing and painting to photography and video. The rural life connects, on the one hand, to the persistent questions of planetary crises and ecology and, on the other, agriculture and production as a contested social space constituted by a series of links between local farmers and the broader network of the food economy. Yet, Sahu's works strongly propose farming as a way of life, finding an immense capacity for love and joy amidst suffering, capturing intimate, tender observations.