Kitaab ki kahani

Sep 18, 2018, 08:32 IST | Dalreen Ramos

In an ongoing exhibition, a television art director explores the changing nature of books over time

Kitaab ki kahani
text that remains untouched but is still talked about and fought over

With every passing day, artists continue to be challenged into finding new ways of tapping into their freedom of expression. But within these confines, Sumit Mishra delves into a question that is even more pressing — how do we derive this information that later translates into expression? Mishra, art director and filmmaker, goes back to the books with his paintings. Kitaab, his third exhibition in the city bridges the art of painting and installation, and documents the relationship between human action and social change.

Real knowlege as depicted by the moon
Real knowledge as depicted by the moon, but the finger pointing towards blank text denotes limited knowledge being absorbed

His series of unreal paintings showcasing the inanimate object are very much rooted in reality. One, for instance, depicts three washed out and sun-dried books on a string.

the books as clothes left to dry on a string symbolises the washing out of information
the books as clothes left to dry on a string symbolises the washing out of information

"There's a lot of information today that is simply being washed out of books. Only last year in Punjab, there were [RSS] threats to remove Avtash Singh Pash's poem from the NCERT syllabus. In the name of knowledge, people are preaching the wrong things that only work in their favour," Mishra says.

Sumit Mishra
Sumit Mishra

He also explores reading as a habit passed on through generations, as if giving the book an inner voice — one where people blindly take what is given to them, and don't see beyond the text. Mishra adds, "As the saying goes, 'Humne dikhaya chaand aur tumne pakad li ungli,' nobody is paying heed to the real message the book is trying to convey. We are all either absorbed in the text, or some only read part of it and act like they know it all. It is important that we strive towards being more well-rounded."

the fiery figure represents a person who doesn’t closely read the text but commands authority over it
the fiery figure represents a person who doesn't closely read the text but commands authority over it

Till: September 22, 11 am to 7 pm
At: Kamalnayan Bajaj Art Gallery, Bajaj Bhavan, Nariman Point.
Call: 22023626

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