“I looked into myself: both inner and outer as a rural experienced modernist.”
Anup kumar Chand
Born in a small village Bhograi of Balasore district in coastal Odisha, since childhood Anup Kumar Chand had keen interest in visual art. The folk paintings of his region always provoked him to draw on the walls and on the floor using rice paste during special occasions. His mother was his first teacher, who taught him to draw, narrated stories with moral values, sung folk songs, which inspired him to get into the field of arts and culture.
In 1993, Anup completed his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in painting, there after he pursued his master degree from Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, Khairagarh, a princely state in Chhattisgarh. Anup was awarded the Doctorate of Philosophy on the Topic ‘Folk Paintings of Coastal Orissa’ from from Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, Khairagarh.
Anup, in jlks oS l% Raso vai sah: Truly the Lord is Rasa presents the flavour of the basic nine rasas, along with two more lately appeared additional rasas. The exhibition reflects the principal human feelings delight, laughter, sorrow, anger, energy, fear, disgust, heroism, and astonishment, all of which may be recast in thoughtful form as the various rasas: erotic, comic, pathetic, furious, heroic, terrible, odious, marvellous, and calmness. These rasas comprise the components of aesthetic experience. While there are several combinations and contemporary interpretations for these emotions provided in different texts, according to the original Sanskrit interpretation as well as that interpreted in the Odissi dance but Anup’s way of interpreting the rasa theory through his painting takes us to a precinct of desire. The myriad emotions that spring from these basic sentiments are like the constantly rising and falling waves ruled by the winds of change. Literary works testify to the eminence of painting as an art form in Anup’s works.
The subject matter is generally religious such as illustrating divinities, myths, and legends and literary illustrating poetry and romances. The styles reflected in Anup’s paintings are rich and varied, often closely connected with one another and sometimes developing and changing rapidly. In addition, the works also shows a surprising liveliness under strained circumstances, surviving up to the very eve of the contemporary art scenario. The study of various theories and literary allusions helps Anup to elaborate it properly and give the required strength of mood and atmosphere for the audience, enabling it to get the most out of it.
In one of the paintings the common concept such as the Sringara Rasa refers to the love between man and woman and its consequences. Here he also tries to depict the love of Lord Krishna and Radha which has a much deeper sense and actually conveyed the ultimate divine love. Beauty is that which attracts the mind or appeals to a particular desire of the mind. That is love; love is not just rati the amorous attitude. The beauty in Man is love and this love is what distinguishes Man and makes him supreme in all creation, thus he portrays the union of Radha and Krishna.
Viewing things with a sense of humour lightens some of the darkness of living in an imperfect world. Images like the laughing Buddha and Charley Chaplin in one of Anup’s Hāsyam Rasa canvas reliefs us of the tension of the moment ends, and we can move on. It is said that when we laugh, it is the easiest to slip into a no-mind state.
Kāruṇyam rasa as depicted by Anup represent the emotion that has been described as the quivering of the heart in the pain of others. It forms that deep part of us those communes with other beings that is the bridge between others and us and helps us understand and empathise with them. With portray of the dove and the child makes us fell gentle, accepting and non-judgemental. It also depicts friendships, true and keeps relationships with self and others healthy and vital.
The next important Rasa is Vīram. This quality of heroism is attributed only to great, benevolent and chivalrous men. Enthusiasm and valour is in the nature of such heroes. When one thinks of such a hero, one imagines a handsome valiant, beautifully attired, pleasing to look at and on entry, he should give the impression of leadership and heroism. Yet in another painting Anup correctly portrays Lord Hanuman who is shown lifting the bejewelled flora symbolising Gandhamardan Hills.
Raudram can be expressed by violent jumps, striking the floor forcefully with the feet. Anger is one of the more easily communicable emotions. Audiences can easily identify this feeling. Even if Raudram is characteristic of wicked characters, like rakshasas, the evil power but it does not mean that good characters should not be depicted, because Raudram is even for a moment. Though their basic nature is not cruel, they can have a momentary fir of anger. To evoke such a feeling, Anup portrays the violent actions with the image of lord Shiva in tandava, cosmic dance.
Yet in another painting where Anup depicts the Bībhatsam rasa he employed only in very brief stretch some nominal subject and concentrating more in the colour format.
Wonder at all the marvellous things we see around us, perhaps even at the awful things that happen to us, keeps our mind fresh and our experience of life vibrant. Everything becomes an adventure, as it did when we were children and were learning and doing so many things for the first time. The image of Navagunjara is a creature composed of nine different animals that Anup uses in the canvas to illustrate the Adbhutam takes us to a land of surreal, actively developing this attitude will ensure a non-jaded experience of life, where we are available in our entirety to each moment.
The Śāntam rasa has a great significance since it is here that everything begins and ends. This denotes a frame of mind, blissful, free from tension, content and near salvation. This quality is personified by great sages like Buddha in one of the painting that is exhibited by Anup. Seeing such a saintly character of simple attire and serene demeanour, creates a feeling of purity and piety.
It is universally accepted that dog’s are the most faithful animal and also aficionado and protector of his master. Anup in his canvas portraying the Vātsalya with the depiction of the love and protection of the dog and on the further end the bonding of Mother Nature.
Anup in his paintings managed to develop the structural and pictorial complexity to expose the new, more ambitious objectives. Technically he manipulates the forms and composition with in a decorative/ intellectual manner. His works give momentum to changes in the environment that has been on the receiving end with regards to rampant commercialization and exploitation of visible land. Modulating the pace at which land gets divided there are elements that confluence in the medley of events growing on a day-to-day basis. The scenes emerge from the textural backgrounds, startling in their clarity and yet, just as dramatically, they fade away. His experience is conceptual, celebrating the true happenings within his surroundings.
The exhibition Raso Vai sah : Truly the Lord is Rasa verbalize that all perception are influenced by our emotional state, stilling the emotions is a pre-requisite for those of us who wish to grow into greater awareness.
- Meghali Goswami
Associate Professor, Kala Bhawan, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan