his recent solo, in quite a few paintings, Sanjib tackles
technology, its implications and braces for impending disasters
intelligence is not what made Sanjib Das Apu pick up on the
subject of disaster, his emotional attachment to his reality
don't fascinate me as subjects. However, we live in a time
when we are constantly being troubled by the thought that
at every corner there is a disaster waiting to happen,"
says the artist. His attitude towards Modern civilisation
has brought into existence a series of works that the artist
called "The Inner Parts of Civilisation."
of one such painting at the Zainul Gallery, where Sanjib's
second solo just wrapped up a course of seven days starting
from March 18, one of his artist friends contemplated the
possibilities of his genre. By drawing on the subject of technology
and how it is impacting us, Sanjib may have the chance to
turn a corner, he observed. Sanjib has successfully proven
his acumen through quite a few works in expressing artistic
emotion about his chosen subject matter -- the fear of unfettered
technological advances. But one must admit by looking at his
works that he is here to show the truth, not to raise an alarm.
these works, the incorporation of machine parts, circuit boards
or the painted exhaust pipe of a motorbike, are not mere elements
to strike a compositional balance. They serve a purpose; they
help the artist express a sense of foreboding. But they also
communicate something more than that. As fear never takes
the centre stage in Sanjib's oeuvre, they serve as indications
of the subject he examines -- the dominance of machines and
the impending chaos they throw us into.
visual propositions are also about retinal pleasure. As most
paintings attempt to raise questions about the purpose of
the machines, or how it is leading us to an uncertain future,
there are some works that are almost pretty. In this huge
solo, which takes up both the gallery of the Institute of
Fine Arts, there are some landscape-like works that compromise
the main theme. They are representative of a different motivation:
to cater to the popular taste.
exhibition brings together works of the last eight years --
I wanted to show how my works have changed over the years,"
says Sanjib. After surveying the paintings dispersed in two
exhibition halls, one can only say that it has changed for
recent years, as his paintings reveal, Sanjib has dealt with
disaster circumstances with a bold painterly attitude. His
sweeping brush works lend his paintings the life that is absent
in machine parts. And the spaces that hem in the drawn or
pasted elements accentuate his theme of disaster and its traumatic
impact on the human psyche.
has revealed a hauntingly psychic side of him self. In the
painting "Inner Parts of Civilisation-2" he has
depicted a cockpit of an aeroplane about to crash. Sweeping
brush strokes cut through the middle hinting at the explosion
that is about to take place. This he drew in 2001, before
9/11, forecasting the attack.
some nostalgia-driven images that simply did not work. These
paintings neither have the bold contour nor the attitude that
he invested in his other works. Sanjib must chart out the
ground he feels most comfortable trudging.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005