How describe what Shovin has done in his recent paintings? One way of putting it would be to say that he has razed the strict order of concrete blocks of high rises and such, to an absorbing mystery –perhaps a sci-fi one. His vast structures appear tumbling, as though in a quake, and yet they hold on. He would not let them topple. Much suburban built up spaces can be infinitely dull for those who have to spend their lives over there. With nature gone, animals and birds are forlorn. They almost go neurotic. Thus what the artist does to this modern day ambience—a completely man-made one –is naughty. He drives a point home, so as to humanize us by making the metros’ lordliness seem vulnerable to incalculable forces. The solidity of a reality is now shown prone to being merrily played with by factors beyond computation. In this way he produces suspense, the feel of absurdity, and even a bit of surreal terror.
What he tells us, or what he compels us to confront, is a situation with two impossible alternative expressions: this world cannot be a safe one, for how can God’s world look so crazy? And secondly, that the way in which we are accustomed to seeing the real world is either not true or not exclusively true. So that Shovin’s intent is to poke fun at an illusion. “Oh see, this world, even when supported by the immense authority of building sciences, by mathematics, by geometry, and indeed by the forms of our own minds, is a fooling. Ha ha-ha!
At any rate Shovin’s compositions are bounded at one extreme by the regular polyhedrons, the strenuous streometric forms, by spheres, by an infinite number of planes, by thermomorphic patterns, or also birds, canines, felines, fish, spectral human shapes etc. etc.
These patterns can transform themselves into squares, or they dissolve into waves, losing their identities. There are successive transformations. A universe in flux, standing in a state of uncertainty. It is, as it were, every detail can metamorphose into oddity.
So such are the artist’s animate as also inanimate personae. He gives us hints of the situation, deadpan. A wonky world, but it holds valuable lessons as much as it is a visual delight “Do not be lazy, get to know that all things can change their forms”. So he seems to imply.
This same trace of mockery is meant really to evoke certain humility in our life responses. He is toying with the old problem of true and false.
The work therefore instantly demolishes our certainties, or things that we know only from the outside.
To repeat, this art tries to wake us up to the basic strangeness impending behind taken for granted monolith structures, whether grand buildings or gross dogmas. The only sound axiom being that there are other truths behind the one truth. If you do not pay heed to this, you may be brushed aside by events.
So, if on one plane, this work offers pleasure and amusement, on another it is serious business.
Included in this exhibition are also the artist’s digital prints, as those based on India’s ancient caves. These are sober, exacting recreations of a world now gone away. But what a job he has done with his classical structure in pure white! Here we observe the artist become an architect or a landscape choreographer. He does all these digitals not lightly but in good faith, in keeping with the spirit of art.
POET & ART CRITIC
•M.F.A. Painting from Fine Arts Dept., Assam University (Central University) Silchar, Assam, India.
•B.F.A. Painting from Fine Arts Dept. of Assam University (Central University), Silchar, Assam, India.
•Six months practical training in national research laboratory for conservation of cultural property, Lucknow, India
•Advance Diploma in Graphics and Multimedia from C-DAC Mohali, India
2013, “The emerging canvas II” Young Korean and Indian Artist Exhibition at Indian Art Museum, Seoul, South Korea
2011, “Independence Day Special Exhibition” solo show at the Indian Cultural Centre Seoul, South Korea, collaboration with Indian Art Museum, Seoul, South Korea.
2014, 2015 and 2016 India Art Fair, New Delhi
2013, BUSAN INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR, Busan, South Korea
2012, Yongsan Art festival (International Art Exhibition), Seoul, South Korea
2012, United Art Fair at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
2008, Art Summit (International Art Fair) at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
Video: Video lounge at United Art Fair, New Delhi
2011, “Independence Day Special Exhibition” solo show at the Indian Cultural Centre Seoul, South Korea, collaboration with Indian Art Museum, Seoul, South Korea. (Indian Cultural Centre Seoul, South Korea was open with my solo exhibition).
2011, Solo show at Alchemy of Art, New Delhi
2008, first International Solo show at Gallery Shanti, Seoul, South Korea
2008, “Huesday March” org by India Times (Times of India Group) at Oneness Center, New Delhi. (two individual solo show)
2006, Solo show at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
2002, Solo Show at U.T.S Art Gallery, Shillong
2017, India Art Festival, Tayagraj Stadium, New Delhi
2017, 7th All India Digital Art Exhibition, A.I.F.A.C.S., New Delhi
2017, “CIMA Award Exhibition” by Cima Art Gallery, Kolkata
2016, “Spirit of India” Embassy of India, Lisbon in association with ArtCatto Gallery at Conrad Hotel, Algrave, Portugal.
2016, “ Bodhgaya Biennale”org by Canvas, Bodhgaya, Bihar
2016, “Indian Modern Art” at Indian Art Museum, Seoul, South korea
2016, Prafulla Dhanukar award winning exhibition at Harmony Hall of Nehru Centre, Mumbai.
2015, “Art on Environment” exhibition at India International Centre, New Delhi.
2015, “ Art of Silence” exhibition at Galleria VSB, New Delhi
2015, India-Korea Art Exchange exhibition at Korean Cultural Center, New Delhi.
2014, “HANJI FESTIVAL” exhibition at Korean Cultural Center, New Delhi.
2014, All India Art Exhibition org by NDMC at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi
2014 – 4th All India Digital Art Exhibition, A.I.F.A.C.S., New Delhi.
2014, Korea-India Art Exchange Exhibition at Indian Cultural Center, Busan, South Korea.
2013 – 1st All India Art Exhibition, FMG Group Institutions, of Greater Noida
2013, India-Korea Art Exchange Exhibition at Korean Cultural Center, New Delhi.
2012, Camouflage, Creativity Art Gallery, New Delhi
2012, Korea-India Art Exchange Exhibition at AW Convention Center (Gallery AW), Seoul, South Korea
2012, Contemporary Indian masks exhibition collaboration with Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Perugia, ITALY
2012. 4th Contemporary Miniature Format of International “MASK EXHIBITION” organised by Nav Siddhartha Art Group at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi: Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal.
2011, 53rd National Exhibition organised by National Lalit Kala Academi at Lalit Kala Akademi Regional Center, Chennai.
2011, ‘Ishan Baibhab’ art exhibition at Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
2011, 9th International print Biennale organised by Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal
2011 – 1st All India Digital Art Exhibition, A.I.F.A.C.S., New Delhi
2011 – 83rd Annual All India Art Exhibition, A.I.F.A.C.S., New Delhi
2011, “Portrait of an Artist” curated by Prayag Shukla at Dhoomimal Art Gallery, New Delhi
2010, “Spring Art Loot 2010” organised by Khushii, New Delhi
2010, “The spirit of a butterfly” curated by Prayag Shukla at Gallery Art & Soul, Mumbai
2010, 82nd Annual All India Art Exhibition, A.I.F.A.C.S., New Delhi
2009, OCTAVALENCE” org by Regional Lalit Kala Akademi (Garhi) at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Indoor Stadium, Surat, Gujarat.
2009, 2nd Guanlan International Print Biennial, China
2009, National Art Week in Bangalore organised by Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in association with Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bengaluru
2008, Busan Indian Ink Painting Biennale, Busan, South Korea
2008, 13th Asian Art Biennale organised by The Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2008, 8th International print Biennale organised by Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal
2008, “Icon of Asia” International show at EM Art Gallery, Beijing, China
2008, Art Summit (International Art Fair) at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
2008, Harmony Art shows organised by Harmony Art Foundation, Mumbai
2008, 116th All India Annual Art Exhibition organised by The Bombay Art Society at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
2008, epicentre org by India Habitat centre & curated by Sushma K Bhall, Gurgaon
2008, Birla Academy Annual show, Kolkata
2007, Galley Jung (Korea India Cultural Exchange Program), Seoul, Korea (Republic)