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New Stories in Old Frames

In the online exhibition, ‘New Stories in Old Frames’, Dhi Artspace celebrates a unique aspect of contemporary art that finds its roots in history and tradition

Dancing Girls | Sanket Viragami | Acrylic On Canvas

'Dancing Girls' | Sanket Viragami | Acrylic On Canvas

From afar, they look beautiful – a melange of rich colours, expertly layered in a composition both pleasing and evocative. But a closer examination unravels a whole other story – a story rendered through intricate details and graceful forms, painstakingly put together in a kaleidoscope where history comes alive. I am talking of course about the art of miniature painting – an art form that has been used as a tool to document lives for centuries. Miniature paintings might have originated way back around 750AD, but their revival within the contemporary framework is just as riveting as their traditional counterpart, if not more. A number of artists are taking the art form to new heights, exploring within the constraints of its delicate brushwork, a number of concerns speaking directly to the present times. And the best of them come together in New Stories in Old Frames – an exciting online exhibition of contemporary miniature paintings, put together by Dhi Artspace.

'Observation Of A Pendamic Looker' | Ravi Chunchula | Gouache And News paper Collage On Rice Paper

'Observation Of A Pendamic Looker' | Ravi Chunchula | Gouache And News paper Collage On Rice Paper

Staying true to the gallery’s vision to encourage new talent and present art that plays a significant role in the evolving larger discourse of contemporary Indian art, New Stories in Old frames features the works of five artists – Aniruddha Parit, Mainaz Bano, Poushali Das, Ravi Chunchula and Sanket Viramgami – all miniaturists who have taken to the techniques in traditional miniature painting and redefined the resulting narrative into one that stands firm within the contemporary art space. Where Aniruddha Parit tackles toxic masculinity through the stories of Hindu mythology; Mainaz Bano uses heritage motifs and patterns to address topical issues. If Poushali Das’ miniature paintings celebrate multiculturalism through the mysticism of Sufism and the Baultraditions of Bengal; then Ravi Chunchula uses a visual vocabulary lent by the everyday, even the pandemic; and Sanket Viramgami finds his inspiration in ‘kantha’(embroidered quilts).

'Inheritance V' | Mainaz Bano | Gold Leaf, Varnish And Acrylic On Canvas

'Inheritance V' | Mainaz Bano | Gold Leaf, Varnish And Acrylic On Canvas

‘The schools of Mughal, Rajasthani, Pahari and Deccani miniatures have continued to amuse and inspire the artists of the generations that followed. And in the present art scenario, a great number of artists have developed their art practice by taking considerable inspiration from the element, style and theme of miniatures. Their works talk about the social, political, economic, environmental and other concerns of the contemporary time even though they are executed in a manner that has its origin in the distant past’.

'For Him And Her" | Aniruddha Parit | Mixed Media On Board |

'For Him And Her" | Aniruddha Parit | Mixed Media On Board |

Committed to enhancing the dialoguearound art, Dhi Artspace’s latest online show, very aptly titled, if we might add, presents stories that resonate with the present, through the vehicle of history and tradition and paves the path for a more inclusive, yet diverse future. And right now, we could use more of that.
All Images are Courtesy of the artists and Dhi Artspace, Telangana.

'Tales From Letter II | Poushali Das | Tempera On wasli Paper |

'Tales From Letter II | Poushali Das | Tempera On wasli Paper |

Vani Sriranganayaki is the Subeditor of Arts Illustrated.

Arts Illustrated

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