Āroh
Emami Art Open Call Exhibition
September 30 - October 30, 2020

I am very happy to announce Āroh, the first Open Call exhibition to be featured on our website. As the pandemic threw all plans off-course, Emami Art has pivoted and shifted to online activities, incorporating a wide range of innovative digital programme including art talks with eminent artists, fundraisers for Amphan victims, documentary film festival, master classes, art mentorship programme for the practicing artists and virtual exhibitions. An extension to our mentorship programme, the Open Call aims to promote the talented young artists, providing them with a platform to show their work along with mentorship and advisory. 

The Open Call is perfectly in tune with the larger ethos of Emami Art, which has long been operating as a springboard for the young artists to launch their careers. I would like to thank all artists who submitted their works and congratulate those whose work has been selected for the exhibition. A big Thank you to Ushmita Sahu for conceptualizing and curating this wonderful show, and heartfelt gratitude to all our mentors Adip Dutta, visual artist & educator; Jagannath Panda, visual artist;  Praneet Soi, visual artist; Prasanta Sahu, visual artist & educator and  T V Santhosh, visual artist for giving us so much time, and thoughtful insights. The learnings will provide the participant artists vital experience and recognition, and offer insights into the professional world of modern and contemporary art.

- Richa Agarwal, CEO Emami Art 


Curator's note  

Somewhere in the near future, when we have found our way out of this unending, nightmarishly absurd situation and are assimilating and arguing over the consequences of the disruption, loss, anger, pain, horror, mendacity, apathy, dissonance and more, that we continue to witness, we will all agree on one fact - that our collective consciousness has been deeply impacted by the lack of physical contact. To quote Aristotle, Man is by nature a social animal, and a situation that denies us our sociability has meant that we have had to adapt ways to connect. In this epoch-defining moment, we are exploring ways of touching each other's lives, even if remotely, exemplified by a steep rise in digital networks of collective sharing, co-operation, motivation, support and communication. The Artworld too has responded resoundingly, so-much-so that this era might just be remembered as that of a virtual deluge that democratized the playing fields, so to speak. 

One of the virtues of the virtual is its ability to connect beyond human-made, political, social, geographical boundaries, thus making it possible for us artists, to listen to artists or attend museum programmes, art fairs across the world without leaving our homes. We can be part of digital exhibitions that are seen, accessed and shared ad infinitum. I must emphasize here that I am not suggesting that the virtual is a substitute for the real, what I propose is that it can help keep alive our desire to engage creatively with art in these trying times. This has inspired me to curate a series of web-based art programmes for Emami Art over the past months, including the Open Call Mentorship and Exhibition Programme 2020 which was conceived as an extension to Emami Art’s ongoing active commitment to methodologies that forward the discourse of art within the region and beyond. The open call invited entries from individuals working on/with paper to provide talented artists with a platform to exhibit their works, as well as support in the form of mentorship and advisory.

The jury hand-picked twelve artists from over two-hundred entries. The selected participants received a one-on-one mentorship session plus portfolio review from our five mentors, eminent art practitioners Adip Dutta, Jagannath Panda, Praneet Soi, Prasanta Sahu, TV Santhosh as well as Emami Art CEO Richa Agarwal and project curator. Our mentors (a word that can be traced back to the Greek mythology of Ulysses trusting his son Telemachus to his old friend, Mentor, before setting out to fight in the Trojan war) provided invaluable insight and constructive criticism for improvement, and generously guided and challenged the mentees to think laterally. They will also be reviewing their mentee's progress after a few months.


Āroh is the online exhibition segment within the project. It illustrates the exciting range of practices and languages exploring diverse concerns such as - recording the ongoing pandemic as an artists book (Anirban Saha), loneliness and depression (Arindam Sinha), migration as a lens weaving together past and present events (Arpita Akhanda), exploration of female sexuality (Daina Mohapatra), inhabiting space as a memory (David Malaker), coming to terms with queer identity (Debashish Paul), connecting mycelium networks as a metaphor of human existence (Dhara Mehrotra), struggling to find an inner voice in the face of hearing disability (Janhavi Khemka), exploring the silent mysteries of nature (Kalpana Vishwas), self-taught practice as a commentary on the banal (Kumar Ranjan), environmental awareness in the face of rampant urbanisation (Manisha Agrawal) and the psychological and emotional connections in a middle-class household (Neelesh Yogi).  

I congratulate all the artists and wish them the very best in times to come. I also thank Richa Agarwal, CEO Emami Art & KCC for her unflinching support and belief. 

-Ushmita Sahu



Artists


Masked / Unmasked I
Anirban Saha

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Masked / Unmasked II
Anirban Saha

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The Experience of Captivity I
Anirban Saha

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The Daily Negotiations
Anirban Saha

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The Daily Negotiation II
Anirban Saha

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Shadow I
Arindam Sinha

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Shadow II
Arindam Sinha

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Empty Frame
Arindam Sinha

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Marking
Arindam Sinha

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Untitled (Self Portrait)
Arindam Sinha

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24/03/2020-14/04/2020
Arpita Akhanda

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Hung upon the past
Arpita Akhanda

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Dak-Ghar (10 works)
Arpita Akhanda

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Recrudescence (5 works)
Arpita Akhanda

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I look at myself in the mirror so I am
Daina Mohapatra

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I lick myself so I am -II
Daina Mohapatra

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I look at myself so I am -II
Daina Mohapatra

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I Look at the Self So I am-III
Daina Mohapatra

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Looking at the Self-III
Daina Mohapatra

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Ajanta Memories
David Malaker

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Ellora memories
David Malaker

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Goodnight, Calcutta -V
David Malaker

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Memories from Ellora II
David Malaker

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Eyes I dare not meet in dreams In death's dream kingdom 2
Debashish Paul

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Let me be no nearer In death's dream kingdom Let me also wear Such deliberate disguises Rat's coat…
Debashish Paul

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Here we go round the prickly pear prickly pear prickly pear...
Debashish Paul

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Our dried voices, when we whisper together..
Debashish Paul

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Visceral IV
Dhara Mehrotra

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Visceral II
Dhara Mehrotra

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Visceral V
Dhara Mehrotra

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Visceral III
Dhara Mehrotra

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Visceral I
Dhara Mehrotra

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Maa
Janhavi Khemka

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Dry grass
Janhavi Khemka

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Lockdown I
Janhavi Khemka

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Dried Vein
Janhavi Khemka

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Stigma I
Kalpana Vishwas

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Stigma II
Kalpana Vishwas

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Stigma III
Kalpana Vishwas

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Stigma IV
Kalpana Vishwas

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Stigma V
Kalpana Vishwas

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Section 7a and 7b
Kumar Ranjan

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Measuring stone
Kumar Ranjan

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Indeed Need Some Rest
Kumar Ranjan

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Green Field, Cloud, Rain Etc....
Kumar Ranjan

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At The Same Time
Kumar Ranjan

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Finally I Decided To Become God
Kumar Ranjan

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Chair 1
Manisha Agrawal

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Chair 2
Manisha Agrawal

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Chair 3
Manisha Agrawal

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Chair 4
Manisha Agrawal

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Vanishing Beauty Stamp 10 (3 works)
Manisha Agrawal

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Untitled I (32 works)
Manisha Agrawal

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Makeup + Money Box
Neelesh Yogi

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Susanna and the elders
Neelesh Yogi

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Balance
Neelesh Yogi

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Justice
Neelesh Yogi

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Being Watched
Neelesh Yogi

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