The artist informally known as Anant wants you to install a Recycle Bin in your head, so that you can filter the thoughts that clutter your mind. He also hopes more people would use the downloadable version in the real world
On the rare occasion that he gets stuck for ideas or inspiration, Anant Kumar Sahu -- better known in the art world by just his first name -- heads to the neighbourhood cinema hall to catch a movie.
The title work from the Use Dust Bee-In exhibition
"Language is not a problem; be it English, Hindi, Marathi or Gujarati," says the artist originally from Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, in Mumbai to promote his first solo show in the city.
On most other occasions, he draws inspiration from daily life, as he did for his ongoing exhibition titled Use Dust Bee-In. "One day while sitting in the canteen of Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal, I noticed that people were throwing disposable cups into the flower garden," says the 37-year-old artist, who was working there as a freelance printmaker.
"That's when it occurred to me that all people needed to be was more mindful (by using a dustbin) and there would be no problem. But nobody thinks about society, everyone is busy thinking about their own needs and happiness," he explains.
The idea also compelled the artist to question the dustbin's presumed function. "We think of a dustbin as something that stores waste, but what a rag picker finds in a dustbin could even save his life," he says.
Anant illustrates the point further by referencing the Recycle Bin in computing.
"Just as we use it as a storage area before deciding whether or not to permanently delete a file, it would serve us well to have a dustbin in our minds to filter our thoughts. After all, whatever happens in our lives ultimately arises as a consequence of our thoughts."
The exhibition comprises a total of 47 works that include ink drawings and lithography prints, priced between Rs 4,000 and Rs 25,000.
At: Hirji Art Gallery, first floor, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort.
Till: October 10