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Kurchi Dasgupta

When WOW posed a simple question to three prominent artists—why do you love art, they simply answered by unveiling their most loved painting. Visual artists— Kurchi Dasgupta, Chirag Bangdel and Pramila Bajracharya talks about their love for art.

A contemporary artist from India, Dasgupta has been based in Nepal for almost a decade. She has showcased her work in many parts of the world including London and Qatar. Her art depicts the modern-day lifestyle in the most intriguing form.

Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as an artist?

It was exactly 10 years ago when I decided to move from gouache on paper to oil on canvas. By the end of the first week, my mind was made up.

How would you define beauty?

Something that unfurls a moment of silence in you!

What projects are you currently working on?

I am curating a series of Pan-South Asian art shows, researching and writing regularly on regional art, preparing for my residency in Germany this winter, acting in One World Theatre’s new production, all this in addition to working non-stop on my own artwork every day.

Why do you love what you do?

Simply, because I do not have a choice. It is not as if I sit down and decide on an artwork. My work compels me to create them.

BLOCKADE

In 2015, Nepal was hit by the earthquake. The same year, when the country was still trying to get back on its broken feet, a neighbouring country blocked its southern border and Nepal’s access to the Kolkata port. Nepal ran out of fuel, basic essentials, medications, everything, within a few months. The international community and media, for some inscrutable reason, kept mum on this act of undeclared but very real war. I ran out of painting materials as well as food and fuel. So, I decided to put together whatever canvas scraps I had in my studio and began stitching together surfaces for painting. Not a single, new stroke of paint has been added in this work. Basically, my own footprints imprinted long ago on canvas scraps in fun are stitched together – there are also some stray pencil drawings on it. I had mostly put it together in 2015 but signed it as completed in 2017. Some of the canvas scraps are as old as 2010.

‘Blockade’ materially documents the shortage, the scarcities, the trauma we all went through in 2015; it is hopefully made visible through every stitch I have put in place on this canvas. I do not consider it my masterpiece. But I do believe that it helped me go beyond playing with only styles and themes, messages and nuances. It helped me get my feet on the ground in a way. Right now it is lying on consignment with a gallery in Kolkata, and will, in fact, be displayed, again, in India in February as a part of ‘She in South Asia’.