Rediscovering Art During COVID: Featuring the works of Pranjit Sarma

Pranjit Sarma

Pranjit Sarma completed his B.V.A (Bachelor of Visual Arts) – Painting, (2012- 2016) from the Department of Visual Arts at Assam University, Silchar, Assam, and then went ahead to complete his M.V.A (Masters in Visual Arts)- Graphics Arts (Print Making) from the Department of Visual Arts, Bangalore University, Bengaluru in 2018. He participated in several National and International Printmaking Biennales held at Cacak, Serbia, Krasnodar, Russia, Italy, Timisoara Romania, Barcelona, Spain, Turkey. Apart from other national exhibitions, Pranjit was selected for the Young Talent Program, solo exhibition of printmaking , “Les Disparates” curated by Franck Barthelemy and organized by Alliance Française De Bangalore. In 2020, he was selected for the International Printmaking Conference, Hong Kong, and has been part of several interdisciplinary projects such as Archipelago, Covent-19 , The Spirit Remains Unlocked 2020, etc.  At present, Pranjit is a printmaking studio-in-charge and project invigilator at the Lavaru Art Center PVT in Bengaluru, India.          

Being an artist intent on expaning his technique, Pranjit has experimented with unconventional interpretations to execute his ideas in the form of Installations. Currently, in his printmaking, he has been working with etching aquatint, considered as the most comfortable medium, to continue his innovative drive.  Apart from printmaking, Pranjit took to digital art during the Covid-19 pandemic. In this article, Pranjit’s work represents the instability of the society and how Covid has occupied the social space. Perhaps ,the broken chair illustrates the existence of humankind and their lost social identity. Overall, the work speaks about the struggle humankind is going through in the search for peace.

Ever since his childhood, Pranjit has been passionate about art. In this respect, his family created a fertile ground for his imaginative psyche to nourish. Belonging from a small village called Balikaria in the North-eastern state of Assam of India, he was always eager to understand and live in the midst of cultural diversity. Back home, Pranjit grew up amidst different communities where he witnessed multiple shades of culture, from attractive costumes to different traditional cuisines. All these elements of society served as fuel for his innovative thoughts. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages through the world, humankind has gone through massive challenges in terms of social communication, transformation, and practical interaction. However, in the midst of the ongoing crisis, Pranjit got the scope to have more time for himself, a contradiction to his usual restless life. During the national lockdown, he was able to emphasize deeply on art that appeals to him the most.

For Pranjit, creativity is more about making contact with the ingredients involved in the creative process than about achieving the end product. Each creator gets multiple ideas during the execution of a piece of art. It is not surprising, therefore, that we can perceive multiple transformations throughout the process of creation. The transformation of having initial ideas to the conclusive result is not only dependent on the creator’s psyche but also on the nature of contact with the surfaces, materials and the pigments. Both these aspects – the human psyche and the ways of human interaction with different grounds – are evidently based upon time and space. Both these aspects are also inter-connected. Being a creative practitioner, Pranjit feels more connected to the process, than the end result of that creative process.

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