Emami Art Imaginarium 2.0, the annual open call, awards and exhibition for upcoming artistic talent, returned this year with ten talented young art practitioners selected from more than two hundred applicants across the country. The final participants, Ali Akbar PN, Sudhir Ambasana, Puja Mondal, Abhishek Chakraborty, Dhaivat Shah, Gyanwant Yadav, Liactuallee, Priti Roy, Priyaranjan Purkait and Subhankar Chakraborty, were selected by an eminent panel of jury.
Primarily conceived with a purpose to support artists early in their careers, Imaginarium 2.0 also involves three generous awards of excellence. Through this exhibition it is our main concern to provide a professional platform for the young artists to help launch or take forward their practices and also to encourage a conversation between different ideas and the rising approaches in visual art. Instead of having a singular focus, the exhibition celebrates the diversity of imaginations, aesthetic sensibilities and critical conjunctions, functioning as parallel points of reference to our socio-temporal expanse.
Through a distinct visual vocabulary developed in mixed media, Ali Akbar PN, the first awardee, explores nuanced spectrums of human relationships. Whether material, linguistic or symbolical, Ali Akbar's works express the duality and juxtaposition of emotions. An architectural designer and digital artist, Sudhir Ambasana, the second place awardee, explores the possibilities of bringing back the human subject in architectural discourses using movement; the work transgresses from the material property of space to the perceptive faculty of human cognition. Third awardee Puja Mondal's artistic practice is a tool for resistance to the intimidation and violence of power politics. Her articulation takes cues from various textual sources, materialised through extensive literary and cultural mining.
Abhishek Chakraborty's sculptural works have their root in a comparison between the intrinsic and functional properties of the organic and the inorganic that symbolically depicts the synthesis of opposite forces manifesting in the material reality. His quest charges Dhaivat Shah's practice in photography for finding a point of equilibrium between the natural and the artificial; oscillating between various pairs of extremes, his works express the attributes of a 'buffer zone'. Gyanwant Yadav's unique process utilises the dynamics between the constructive energy of layering papers and the destructive energy of peeling them off that are translated into imaginary landscapes merging the rural and urban topographies. Liactuallee is motivated to create imagined visual universes that offer a glimpse into optimistic futurist modes of envisioning our collective destinies. They create speculative landscapes navigating the themes of intimacy, identity and ecology. Priti Roy's practice cultivates the emotional traces of displaced memories. Her works often refer to specific objects that evoke voluntary or deliberate memories of the homeland, home culture, and interpersonal relationships from the pre-immigration past. Fabric plays a vital role in Priyaranjan Purkait works, acting as a subject and metaphor. Purkait explores the nuanced values attached to clothing in its proximity to the human body as the witness to various human situations. Subhankar Chakraborty's landscapes are filled with incredible details and textures working together to evoke a tactile memory of the space. Executed from a bird's eye perspective, the works reinterpret an actual landscape through an intimate dialogue of lived experiences.
The ruminations, experiences and questions reflected by the artworks are emancipatory in nature. From various perspectives, they express the struggle of identity, the interdependence and conflict between mankind and nature, tactile translations of personal and collective memory and attempts to redefine our topographic outlook. Thus, collectively creates a discursive space and establish new aesthetic routes for the audience to engage with the contemporary creative apparatus.