Friday, 12 June 2015

Fankaari Fossils - An Art Exhibition

Anirban Saha (left) and Arjyak Bhattacharya at Fankaari Fossils art exhibition.

“The aim of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle.

“Fankaari Fossils” is one such endeavour to represent art as a reflection of inner understanding. The artist, Rajesh Yadav, is a recipient of numerous awards and his latest works were displayed at the World Fine Art Gallery, New York and The Nehru Centre, London.

I was present at the Birla Academy of Art and Culture, representing Kolkata Bloggers along with Anirban Saha, for the inauguration ceremony of this event. As we took a look around at the various paintings on display, the one thing that struck us most was the diversity in themes. There were paintings drawing references to science, religion, mythology, history, emancipation, humanitarian values, literature, politics, the human mind and tangible human relationships, to name a few. The Center-Piece depicted “freedom”, showing an unbounded flight of human imagination. To capture the Kolkata flavor, an exhibit of a Rabindranath Tagore portrait dominated one wing of the gallery. The idea behind the piece was to depict Tagore “showing the way” for any and every art and culture enthusiast.

Rabindranath Tagore - Showing the way. 

It was our privilege to have the artist Rajesh Yadav spend some time with us personally, explaining the concepts and his mindset behind all of the artworks we feasted our eyes on. He spoke about how he correlated the planets in the solar system, depicting them in a series of paintings that highlighted the symbols associated with them. He also went on to describe how he portrayed the history of humans according to Christian beliefs in another painting, showing Adam and Eve taking a bite of the forbidden fruit, and the species that survived in Noah’s arc. In yet another series, Rajesh Yadav showcased the many moods of human nature in the form of various masks. He also had another series on the human mind, harping on political consciousness and the stress it demands.

The inauguration was attended by esteemed artist Wasim Kapoor, and Mahesh Saharia, Chairman of the Saharia Group of Industries and an Honorary Consul of the Republic of Indonesia. It was incredible meeting these gentlemen, both stalwarts in their respective fields. Mr. Wasim Kapoor, being master painter he is, opted to put an unusual touch to the visitors’ comment book. Instead of scribbling his comments in words, he seamlessly drew a side-view of a man’s head with swift penstrokes, evoking applause from the onlookers.

Mr. Wasim Kapoor (left) and Mr. Aloke Choudhury (right) have remained friends for half a century.

Another experience to relish was an interaction with Mr. Aloke Choudhury. He is the man who designed the oh-so-popular logo of the Kolkata Metro Railway. Mr. Choudhury has been friends with Wasim Kapoor for 50 long years! In fact, he has the exact date memorized, and says it will be fifty years to the day in a month. “We aren’t the sort of people who meet after ten years of no contact”, he says. “We’ve kept in touch regularly, throughout half a century.” Growing up in a world of fluctuating relationships like I do, such stability is hard to find. Mr. Choudhury recalled the days when he would study with his then-batchmate Wasim, and how they diversified as he went into commercial art and his friend went into fine arts, but never lost touch.

All in all, Fankaari Fossils promises an array of fantastic paintings, a charismatic artist, and a well-maintained organizational committee. On behalf of Kolkata Bloggers, my appreciation goes out to Mr. Abhishek Chamaria for inviting us to this exhibition. (And for allowing me to use his photographs for this blog post). It was a wonderful experience taking in a glimpse of this contemporary art exhibition. Vision, indeed, is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.

Should you be interested, the prices for the exhibits start as low as 30,000 INR for a set of four, and go up to 500,000 INR for one of the art installations. Head over to the Birla Academy of Art and Culture to see for yourself - I'm sure you will find it's worth it. Sharing pictures of some of the exhibits displayed here.

Visual artist Rajesh Yadav poses with his main exhibit - the depiction of "Freedom"
All pictures used in this blog post have been clicked by Mr. Abhishek Chamaria. Click on the link to visit his Mobilography Blog.


  1. Unfortunately I couldn't manage to go there. But your post had taken me the venue itself when I was just zipping it through.
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I'm glad that I'm in touch with such a great personality like you.

    1. I'm glad you liked the post. :)
      The gallery is open up to today, if you want to visit.