Odia Artist’s Layer Painting Draws Admiration At China Art Expo

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Bhubaneswar: With six layers of acrylic colours on his canvas, city-based artist Veejayant Dash has won hearts at the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC).

Dash’s work, titled ‘Conversation Through Layers’, was one of the five paintings by Indian artists selected for the event Shared Inspiration, Asian Civilization Exhibition at NAMOC.

The event was only for Asian artists and aimed to showcase the cultural ethos of Asian countries. As part of the event, around 25 artists were selected from 140 applications to exhibit their works.

“The event took place from May 12 to June 12, but I could not attend it. In fact, I did not even know my painting was selected for a long time due to the power cut during Fani. We had no internet. So, when we did have network, I checked and was surprised. Although I missed going to the exhibition, I am glad my painting was there,” Dash said.

After the show, the museum curators collected some of his works to keep in their permanent collection.

Dash describes his method as a wash technique. “There are layers to it. I draw, apply colours to it and when it is dry, I wash away the extra colours. Then I paint something else, apply colour again and repeat the whole process. I do it about six-seven times. The final result is a beautiful work of layers,” he explained.

The painting selected for the exhibition has six layers. There is a white pillar with roots. It is divided into two parts. On top of one part of the pillar is a decorated bed and the other has books and a small plant.

Dash made this particular painting especially for the event. “I got a mail from NAMOC. They wanted to see my work. When I inquired, I got to know that I was referred. They had been looking for many artists in Asia. They selected me, they said, because my style of painting was something they related to the idea of Indian art. They were looking for something of this sort. They then asked for one exhibit, so I made this especially for them and sent it to them. The committee then decided that they will collect some more of my work,” he added.

His painting has a deeper philosophy attached to it. “Whatever we say or do is related to the past. It is not born immediately. We tend to refer to or take things from our past and put it together and build upon it. Subconsciously, we use our past to build on the present. That’s what I have tried to do. All my works are socially connected and I portray them the way they affect me. I put in my personal experiences in a painting and how it shapes up in my mind. Sometimes, it is something that bothers me, while mostly it is my desire to express,” the artist said.

Dash said he uses myriad elements in his paintings. He said he tries to use some elements from Pattachitra or Ajanta Ellora style of painting. “I am very inspired by the Ajanta Ellora paintings. So, the base in my paintings is almost always about some of these drawings in terms of style. Then, I apply the colours and build layers upon layers,” he revealed.

At present, the artist is a guest faculty at NIFT. He is also the founder of the annual event 0674–Hello Bhubaneswar.

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