KATHMANDU: The epic of Mahabharata has left many generations engrossed in its many fascinating incidents, the lessons it imparts, which are still relevant today and the interesting characters who have their own conflicts — inner and in relationships — to settle. Though everyone is left entangled in this humungous epic that speaks of simple human emotions like jealousy, revenge and anger as well as the valour of warriors and the art of politics, everyone has a different
impression of this epic.
Artist Kurchi Dasgupta has brought out the effect the epic had on her in a collection of paintings titled ‘The Mahabharata: An impression’, which was inaugurated by Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood on January 23 at the Siddhartha Art Gallery.
Stating that Mahabharata stands out as one of the most outstanding epics he has ever read, Ambassador Sood pointed out what fascinates him by saying, “The characters of this epic who have greatness also succumb to the human failings.”
As for the artist the epic is “not just a tale of how a race, if not humanity, is wiped off the face of the Earth — it is also the tale of how stupefying chaos may at times progress into unity and peace — that definitely makes it relevant to the world we live in”.
The 25 artworks on display are not just about her impressions of the different events for she also has pieces where she is trying to understand the characters like Yudhistira and Arjuna and Draupadi. “I am trying to unravel the great epic’s multilayered responses,” she said.
Her depiction of Virata Parva, the last year of Pandavas’ exile, which had to be done incognito, has masks while her portrayal of Karna Parva, the elder brother of Pandavas who actually was on the side of Kauravas, features a lonely human figure at the centre of the canvas while there are five figures at one end.
Writer of Mahabharata Vyas had said, “Time is indeed the seed of the Universe”, and Dasgupta’s piece on time has blue concentric circles representing the whirlwind of time and there is a ripped canvas overlapping this image. Using similar colours she has differentiated heaven and hell by figures. There is a cloud spreading light in one while the other possesses a skeleton, spider and drips red colour. Bright colours and overlapping figures dominate most of the pieces and Dasgupta has used mixed media and oil on canvas.
At the opening, eminent scholar Dr Amiya K Dev also talked about the various dynamics associated with Mahabharata. He basically delved into “What drives us all to Mahabharata?” And in answering this he said, “What is found here may be found elsewhere, but what is not to be found here is not found anywhere else”.
The exhibition is on till February 11.