GARDEN OF INFINITE DESIRES:
A GROUP EXHIBITION
Kolkata, 28th April, 2023: Emami Art, one of India's leading contemporary art galleries based in Kolkata, presents 'Garden of Infinite Desires', a group exhibition by seven artists from Bengal; Arunima Choudhury, Ghana Shyam Latua, Kartick Chandra Pyne, Manas Naskar, Mrinal Kanti Gayen, Puja Mondal, and Santanu Debnath. The show opens on April 28, 2023, and is on view through June 25, 2023 on the fifth floor of the gallery.
Through this exhibition, the seven participating artists will showcase their distinctive perspectives in the way of looking at nature. The exhibition shouts no environmental slogans; instead, it is driven by the impulse to bridge the apartness between humans and the natural world, establishing a deep, subterranean connection between them.
While the paintings by Kartick Chandra Pyne depict it as integral to his fantastic imagination, those of Manas Naskar, Santanu Debnath, and Mrinal Kanti Gayen represent unsullied nature unaffected by the modern world, celebrating its beauty and diversity. Beside them are artists like Puja Mondal and Ghana Shyam Latua, who are critical in their representation of the natural world. They use it not as a normal phenomenon but as a context for contemporary discourses, such as nostalgia, urbanization and surveillance. The meticulous detailing of the artworks draw the viewer closer to their creations, enabling one to unravel the truth hidden in their beautiful appearances. For Arunima Choudhury, who is an avid gardener besides being a painter, one needs to know her love for nature to understand her works. Her luminous paintings, which reveal her unique vision and feminine sensibilities, do not separate humans from the natural world.
Richa Agarwal, CEO of Emami Art, said, “The show is hugely relevant today when our relationship with nature has become strained. With the growth of the modern technology, man has desacralized nature, looking at it merely as a source of raw materials and empty spaces to be exploited, stripping it of its mystery. Our scientific progress reduces the distance that once separated us from nature, giving us a sense that we own and control it. But art, revitalizing our bonding with nature, reveals that it remains an inexhaustible source of our creative feelings and imagination. The exhibited works done in diverse mediums at the show ‘Garden of Infinite Desires’ attest to this simple truth. Nature is our concern and, at the same time, our love and source of vital emotions.”
About the Artists
Arunima Choudhury (b. 1950)
Arunima Choudhury was born in West Bengal, India, and lives and works in Kolkata. Choudhury Has been the subject of solo exhibitions ‘The Dark Edge of Green’ and ‘Nature as I see’ at Emami Art and ‘Khela’ Seagull Foundation of the Arts, both in Kolkata. She has also participated in numerous major group exhibitions including ‘Kolkata: Run in the Alley,’ at Marres, Netherlands and ‘Constellation,’ at Emami Art, Kolkata. She was awarded Shilpi Maha-Samman by West Bengal Charukala Parisad in 2022.
Ghana Shyam Latua (b.1992)
Ghana Shyam Latua was born in West Bengal, India, and lives and works in Santiniketan. He has been the subject of solo show ‘Lament of the Read Earth’ at Tapetenwerk Gallery, Leipzig, Germany and ‘Khoai Landscape’ at Emami Art, Kolkata. His work has been featured in many group exhibitions at Artshila in Santiniketan; Art Alive in New Delhi; Exposure and Ganges Art Gallery in Kolkata; among others. He won Dhi Support Grant in 2020 and National Ghari Scholarship in 2017. He has participated as an artist in residence at the Kira A. Princess of Prussia Foundation, Italy, in 2022.
Kartick Chandra Pyne (1931 – 2017)
Born in Kolkata, Kartick Chandra Pyne studied painting at the Government College of Art and Craft, Calcutta, between 1950 and 1955. A prolific and introvert artist, his work was shown as one of the hundred exhibits pesenting modern Indian Art in the historic exhibition at Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan, 1979. He was the subject of solo exhibitions at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, Bajaj Art Gallery, Mumbai, Chitrakoot Art Gallery, Kolkata, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, among many others. A retrospective exhibition of his work was organized by Aakriti Art gallery, Kolkata, in 2006.
He was the recipient of the prestigious Shilpi Maha Samman and Abanindra Puraskar of the Government of West Bengal. Rajya Charukala Parshad made a documentary film on him, “Line, Story, Design,” released in 2017.
Kartick Chandra Pyne has passed away in 2017.
Santanu Debnath (b.1995)
Santanu Debnath was born in West Bengal, India and lives and works in Burdwan. He has been the subject of solo exhibition ‘A Simple Life’ at Emami Art, Kolkata. He has also participated in the major group exhibitions including ‘100 Yuva Sambhava,’ Raza Foundation in 2022; ‘Imaginarium’ at Emami Art, Kolkata in 2021; among many others. He won the Gita Das Award in 2017 and was the recipient of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Scholarship between 2020 and 2021.
Manas Naskar (b.1984)
Manas Naskar was born in West Bengal, India and is based in Kolkata. He has participated in many major group exhibitions including ‘Revision on the Surface’ at Gallery Dotwalk, Gurgaon; ‘100 Yuva Sambhava’ organized by Raza Foundation in New Delhi; ‘Resurrection’ at Birla Academy of Art in Kolkata; among others. Naskar was awarded in the 91th AIFACS in 2018.
Mrinal Kanti Gayen (b 1971)
Mrinal Kanti Gayan was born in West Bengal, India, and lives and works in Kolkata. He has been the subject of recent solo shows ‘Tactile Melodies’ at Art Houz, Chennai; ‘Rhythm of Nostalgia’ at Jahangir Art Gallery, Mumbai; ‘Lightness of Being’ at ICCR, Kolkata. He has participated in numerous international and national group exhibitions including ‘Stones Under the Shadow: An International Exhibition of Sculptures’, at Latika Katt’s Studio, Varanasi; ‘Sonar Bangla’ at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata; and ‘Freedom: From Despair to Dream’ at Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata. He won the National Academy Award in 2012 and AIFACS award in 2014.
Puja Mondal (b. 1994)
Puja Mondal was born in West Bengal, India and lives and works in Baroda. She has participated in many significant exhibitions including ‘Mycelial Legacies’ at Bikaner House, New Delhi; ‘Ask the Clouds to Remember’ at Akara Art Gallery, Mumbai; ‘Untold Summer Stories’ at Gallery Exhibit 320, New Delhi; and others. She was the recipient of the Artist Support Grant by the Khoj Studio in 2022 and Nasreen Mohamedi Scholarship in 2017. She won the National Award in 2016.
About Emami Art
Emami Art is a contemporary art gallery based in the green purpose built Kolkata Centre for Creativity building in Kolkata, India. Promoting emerging, mid-career and established artists and engaging with contemporary and historical material, the gallery produces exhibitions of modern, contemporary and cutting-edge art as well as commissioning artists to create site-specific pieces.
The gallery programme includes a regular lineup of talks, seminars, panel discussions and conversations with artists, curators and key partners. The gallery delivers its commitment to providing a long-term supportive environment for emerging talent through free access to mentorship programs, workshops, residency opportunities and innovative educational activities that facilitate artistic development. It also stages events across the cultural spectrum, such as concerts, performances, symposiums, publications, collaborative projects, film screenings, and learning-orientated incubator programmes.