Pain, poverty, war: Art that is born of adversities
Pandora’s Box, a group show of compelling contemporary artworks curated by its cofounder Sonali Batra is on display at Delhi’s The Stainless Gallery.
The artworks curated are inspired by the ancient greek myth and metaphor used in our modern language, “Pandora’s box”. The provervial phrase refers to the havoc that immeditately arose after Zeus handed Pandora a beautiful box with a big lock saying, “This is my gift to you. Don’t ever open it.” As Zeus anticipated, Pandora’s curiosity led her to open the foribidden box, ending the golden age. It is said that as soon as Pandora opened this box, she unleashed human evils and endless troubles in the world such as greed, envy, hunger, poverty, violence, pain and war.
The show will exhibit works by some of India’s leading contemporary artists such as T.V Santosh, Shilpa Gupta, Anjum Singh, Sunil Padwal and Rameshwar Broota. It juxtaposes these along with artworks by emerging contemporary artists from Indoensia, South Korea, Vietnam, Russia, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Romania, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America. The collection of diverse artworks strings and establishes the analogous na- ture of angst, stress, distress and the fragile nature and times we live in.
The contemporary artworks featured in the show symbolise and reflect sociopolitical adversities that are prevalent in our world today. We are increasingly becoming more apathetic as individuals and as a society. We choose to continually trade comforts of today by passing the burden to the next generation. This constant misuse of take has released evils into the world which we cannot take back. “Pandora’s Box” showcases artists from 12 countries across the globe to highlight the universal need for power that has plagued our earthly paraside.
Some artworks curated for the show are satirical and a comment on the harsh urban life pressures shaping our society. For example Indonesian artist, Tatang Ganar highlights socio-political problems by painting recurring themes such as the imbalance between the capitalist and worker’s life. Similarly South Korean artist, Sung-ha Ahn paints ordinary objects as metaphors such as cigarettes, which give psychological comfort to people its conveying the seductive toxicity.
There is significant representation of global issues such as war and terrorism in the collection. For example, Deny Pribadi’s paintings portray humans as predators and their innate greed and need to dominate, colonise and fight even if it’s done for levity. Lyra’s works revolve around the politics of identity and issues of displacement, movement, history and memory.
The exhibit also showcases a vivid selection of portraits that capture the psychologi- cal dimensions of human evolution. Artists such as Alexander Ilichev, Daniel Clark, Mary Chiarmonte and Carlo Gabuco delve into the dark side of human nature offering a narrative that reflects a wide range of human experiences. Similarly, Czhech Republic Stetlana’s innocent characters co-exist in a fragile world of harmony and dream, unfolding the depth of the life lived by the subject in an imaginative and compelling way.
While ‘ Pandora’s Box’ draws light onto life’s miseries that exist in our world, it also emphazies on hope, the only thing that Pandora left trapped inside the box. The exhibit hopes its viewers to engage with the thoughtprovoking works and start a broader-dialogue about ethics, morals and hope, which has stayed with us till this day.
The show embraces paintings and photographs by artists such as Rameshwar Broota, Shilpa Gupta, T.V Santosh, Anjum Singh, Sunil Padwal, Sung Ha Ahn, Deny Pribadi, I Made Wiranda, Svetlana Kurmaz, Byen Ung Pil, Carlo Gabuco, Klaudia Krzysztonek, Hongru Yao, Xiadong Cui, Steve Lawler, Daniel Clarke, Mary Chiarmonte, Viet Ha Tran, Ion Vacareanu, Alexander Illichev, Pepijn Simon, Maria Aparici and AgataZynchlinksa. The show is on view till 19 November