Odiyan artists reclaim dance legacy in exhibition
BRUSH HOUR: Eight emerging artists draw inspiration from dance icons of the past and present in ‘Legacy Reclaimed’ at Sutra House
KUALA LUMPUR: EIGHT young artists from Odisha (formerly Orissa) in India are staging an exhibition of their work, "Legacy Reclaimed", at Sutra House, here.
The exhibition, curated by Odiyan artist and scholar Dr Soubhagya Pathy, offers a rare opportunity to sample the contemporary figurative talent emerging from Odisha.
The artists are Smrutirekha Barik, Smrutikanta Raut, Gopal Krushna Rath, Aruna Kumar Behura, Rajat Kumar Dhal, Pardipta Kumar Sahoo, Sudarsan Sahoo and Soubhagya Pathy.
The drawings and paintings, as the title of the exhibition suggests, are based on dance, drawing inspiration from dance icons of the past and present such as Uday Shankar, Ram Gopal, Chandralekha and Sonal Mansingh.
While Sutra Foundation has presented the works of distinguished Odiyan artists such as Dinanath Pathy, Jatin Das, Ramahari Jena, Soubhagya Pathy and Kishore Sahoo through many exhibitions, "Legacy Reclaimed" is about young Odiyan artists hitherto unknown in Malaysia.
The current flowering of dance and dance festivals in Odisha have familiarised these artists with the legacy of dance, which in turn, has contributed towards today's revivalist dance movement.
The artists' fresh interpretation, devoid of postmodern cynicism and angst, lends new clarity to past pioneering works of the legendary personalities portrayed.
Their larger-than-life portrayals of the dance icons are a conscious attempt to elevate these icons into superstar status. The works seek to reclaim the legacy which they allude has been denied them.
The curator, who is also the artists' lecturer in Art, said: "These young artists nourish a concern for their heritage.
"They also want to share their experience and widen their world-view through travel and exposure to other creative viewpoints.
"The young Odiyan artists will not only have several interactive sessions with the dancers and painters of Kuala Lumpur but will also have the opportunity to experience an artist camp at The Bellevue, Penang Hill, and Alpha Utara Gallery, George Town.
"They will also be looking at the workings of programmes behind the scene of the National Gallery of Visual Arts, here. The experience coupled with this exhibition and exposure will further inspire, catalyse and stimulate further their creativity."
Sutra House is at Persiaran Titiwangsa 3, Taman Tasik Titiwangsa. The exhibition ends tomorrow. Admission is free. For details, call Sarmini at 03-4021 1092.