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Avijit Dutta’s ‘The Revisiting’ art exhibition in Bengaluru explores memory and imagination

INDAvijit Dutta’s ‘The Revisiting’ art exhibition in Bengaluru explores memory and imagination

In KYNKYNY Art Gallery’s latest exhibition, The Revisiting, Kolkata-based artist Avijit Dutta’s moody and evocative tempera paintings delve into the nebulous realms of memory, imagination, and time, inviting viewers to traverse fragments of bygone eras filled with personal histories, cultures, and the essence of everyday life.

The exhibition, which opened in the historic bungalow of physicist Sir CV Raman in Malleshwaram on June 22 and 23, has moved to KYNKYNY, where it will be on till July 19. The scientist’s residence, steeped in history, adds a layer of depth to Avijit’s works, which were partly inspired by his visit to this location last September.

Avijit Dutta’s The Revisiting

Avijit Dutta’s The Revisiting
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

“Walking on the soil where Sir CV Raman spent so much time felt like a real privilege,” he recalls over the phone from Kolkata. “The trees and foliage all around lent a kind of peaceful magic. I imagined conversations, voices, the cooing of pigeons, and flowers with exotic butterflies adding colour and richness. It was a surreal moment that evoked many thoughts, most of which I carried back to Kolkata. Over time, these thoughts took shape as my works.”

Avijit’s journey as an artist spans nearly 25 years, marked by continual evolution and deep self-exploration. “Art has been a constant journey of change and growth, marked by new insights, understandings, and implementations,” he says. This perpetual transformation is evident in his latest collection, where he reinterprets the past not as static or frozen but as a dynamic, shape-shifting narrative reconstructed through emotion, metaphor, and imagination.

Key to his creative process is the influence of his mother, whose memory continues to fuel his artistic drive. “My mother has been a central figure in my life journey and has profoundly influenced my work as an artist. I lost her at a very young age, and I have constantly tried to remember the fleeting, fragile moments spent with her. Her choices, style, and behaviour remain fresh in my mind.”

Avijit’s art is also inextricably linked to the soul of Kolkata, a city he describes as a “cauldron of creativity, grandeur, culture, and slow, poignant decay.” The history and unique character of Kolkata are woven into his paintings, which exude a sense of nostalgia and elusiveness, similar to flipping through a forgotten photo album.

“The concept of ‘The Revisiting’ is about taking art out of its conventional confines and placing it in a new space, giving it a fresh look, light, and freedom,” says Avijit. This approach allows his work to touch viewers in new and transformative ways as they encounter imagined spaces, fading times, and emotional encounters that transcend the ordinary.

Nature, a recurring motif in his works, is not just a backdrop but a central character in his stories. Dogs, antelopes, birds, butterflies, and horses inhabit his crumbling mansions and regal settings, symbolising the passage of time and the complex interplay of human experience. His compositions, rich in imagery and layered with a vintage patina, reflect the multidimensional quality of the mind, blurring the boundaries between past and present, reality and fantasy.

“Art often begins abstractly and, for many, transforms into something more figurative and form-like. In any artistic journey, memory is a vital currency that fuels imagination and composition,” he reflects. “We live in the present but bring the past alive through memory, art, poetry, music, and writings.”

For Avijit, the process of creation is as important as the final piece. “It’s been a hectic couple of months bringing together this collection. I have tried to make it varied and interesting, and I hope my efforts find an appreciative audience.”

Expression, Avijit says, is the most crucial aspect of art. “Art needs to have a soul; otherwise, it will be just like any other object.”

The Revisiting can be viewed at KYNKYNY Art Gallery till July 19.

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