DEBI A Multidimensional Art Project
Art Alive Gallery is proud to present a dramatic profusion of works from the private studio of sculptor and installation artist Narayan Chandra Sinha who is an innovation personified. His creativity has neither limits nor boundary as he is guided by the diktats of his artistic passion.
Debi is a bride between craft and fine arts. It reflects an intelligent use of discarded materials and weaving them together to tell a story that resonates with culture and tradition. Yet, the language is modern, chic and understated in every sense of the word. In essence, the show is a tribute to beauty, originality and style that’s sensibly crafted in a modern language.
“I have a concern to preserve culture. I use objects that have been a part and parcel of our tradition. There are thoughts and methods behind my choice of materials that may appear to be discards in the eyes of viewers,” he says
Sinha pursued Bachelor of Science from Calcutta University and always had an inclination to art. Art was an intrinsic part of him as he taught himself the nuances, language, style and tricks of what later defined his work.
Sinha, 36, is a native of Nalhati, a small town in the Birbhum district of West Bengal. The town derives its name from the Shakti peetha Nalhateshwari temple, which according to the mythologies is the spot where the “nala” or the throat of goddess Shakti had fallen.
Subconsciously, Sinha draws inspirations from his native place which is evident in his depiction of goddess and deities. Indeed, deities and goddess play an important role even though figures of random man, birds and animals mark their presence. Capturing the traditional ritualistic existence with all its trappings and presenting them in the most contemporary language is what he does best.
Experimenting with unusual assortment of junks and discards like automobile parts, metal drums, fuel tanks of kerosene stoves, stove burners, metal scrap, cotton and more, he also uses old locks, old brass utensils, metallic pipes, mouse traps almost anything that he could lay his hands on to weave in a story that’s modern and contemporary.
His usage of these unusual materials and then fusing them to create something immediately puts him on the path of a new discovery. In his series of lamps for instance, he uses part of a gas stove to create chic and modern lamps that still retain the original look thus heightening the aesthetic value.
He is a master innovator who is known for his intelligent blending of different materials. There is, for instance, Durga Ma beautifully wielded together in metal while the face is in brass. The necklace made of iron that must have been heated at a certain temperature and bend to take the shape of a neck has chunky pieces of brass including a gas stove burner that seems so comfortably placed. Yet in another, the crown of the goddess is in brass even as objects like locks, beetle nut cracker form a body. The hands of Durga are made of silencer pipes. And the eyes of the lion, Sinha uses a ceramic piece that only heighten the aesthetic appeal.
There is a neckpiece replete with keys, locks and puja utensils. The locks are collected from different parts of India.
An avid traveller, Sinha collects materials from all over India. “People make fun of me and call me a scrap hero. But then collecting and sourcing material is a tedious process. I do not collect randomly. Every piece I collect has a purpose so am not just a junk collector,” he says.
Precision is his understated method of working. Sinha takes no chance in looking into every minute detail. In the process he is able to breathe in life and emotion to his motionless figures. The goddess with a mummy-like body wrapping suspended on an iron wheel has a figure close by. The figure of a man in metal cast sits with a blanket wrapped around him. From head to toe, there is a sense of realism in the figure. Especially what adds to the surrealism is the iron trunk box on which the figure is sitting on.
Besides a couple of group shows, Sinha has held over 12 solo shows from 2000 till date in different galleries across India.
According to Sunaina Anand, director, Art Alive Gallery: “He is a rare breed of talent who uses redundant materials to create extraordinary work. What’s fascinating is his avant-garde approach to work that embraces ethics, style and a high sense of originality is most appealing.”