“As the full moon, men, women and children poured in from the surrounding villages. There was hardly an inch of space vacant anywhere. The streets were crammed with people. Vendors of sweets and toys and flowers shouted their wares, moving about in the crowd. Fragrance of flowers and incense hung over the place. Presiding over this there was the brightest moon that ever shone on earth” – R.K Narayan “Malgudi Tales”
My enquiry with the city began with the focus on the self and my immediate environment. This very environment that holds my interest on a daily basis gets transposed into spaces where personal memories are placed and examined. Cityscapes hold both individual and collective aspects of living, where factors of diversity within geographies, economic status, social and cultural practices define various structures of living; where pluralism defines the energies of co-existence, outlining the character of a city. It is these different dimensions that captivate my interest, when even a single frame can reflect the multiplicity of a panorama.
The city excites and surprises me in numerous instances: in activities that can often be perceived as banal or routine, it evokes ideas of curiosity, and prompts me into spaces of further examination. Mundane activities of getting your cloths ironed or exploring narrow gallis of the city to acquire particular objects, stimulate observations that get stored and contemplated over. The architectural structure of buildings and the unique characters of shops became a focus within my work. Buildings stand tall over time as observers to the constant state of flux the city around them is in; where the facade gives us a glimpse of the interior space that carries the imprint of peoples lives, revealing life-experiences of human existence, often despite the absence of human figuration.
My painted cities hold the essence of both the real and imagined, where no specific story is told.
It is within these diverse worlds, I trace my own belonging.