Bhubaneswar: Artists of different genres have made the temple city come alive in a unique way at the recently inaugurated “Hello Bhubaneswar” exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademi here. The exhibition gives art lovers in the city an opportunity to see the city and compare it with its past.
At the exhibition people from different walks of life have collaborated with artists to create the art installations.
The second edition of “0674 Hello Bhubaneswar”, organised by Bhubaneswar Art Association (BAA), exhibited 25 art works by 30 artists. The exhibited art works included paintings, installations, sculptures, photographs, terracotta and ceramic works.
“The city is growing vertically. That is why I have framed old photos of the temple city in new and colourful frames. I have showcased the temple city and its culture through these photographs,” said Siba Sahu, a photographer by profession.
His photo installation, named “Alive”, showcases 110 photos. He has taken all photographs, of the temple city and the people associated with it, in the Old Town area here.
“Now, we are seeing concrete roads and colourful lights everywhere. Still, we have that old culture in our temple city. In the early morning, a priest would conduct temple rituals wearing a dhoti. That’s why my photos are colourfully framed,” said Siba.
Siba compared the areas near the temples of Bhubaneswar with the SEZ (Special Economic Zone). “Near the temples here, there are many sources of income, like people open betel shops, tea shops and other business. Many businesses depend on temples. You can find doctors, hotels, dharmashalas setting shop near temples.”
Artist Manas Maharana has exhibited a sculpture named ‘Epic’. He has used stone and iron in his installation.He carved the stone as a Jain Muni. His installation showcases both peace and war.
Artist Saroj Kumar Rout has displayed four ceramic landline telephones containing the audio by renowned personalities like singer Prafulla Kar, freedom fighter Bhabani Charan Patnaik and Ramesh Chandra Das.
One will be confused whether the landline telephones are ceramic works or original.
But lift the receiver and you get to hear the audio by renowned personalities. “Telephone department officials have helped me make this,” said Saroj.
Temple City Through Video
“I have taken a video visualising my childhood. I have showcased the courtyard with Tulasi Vrindavan. I have grown up seeing this Tulasi Chaura playing in this courtyard,” said Chiranjeev Mishra.
I have also showcased the street from Old Town to Shikharchandi in Bhubaneswar.
“Many things have been changed. But our rituals are still the same for us,” he said. “Till now, on Pana Sankranti, a tiny hole is made in a small earthen pot filled with Pana and hung in a stick in the chaura in our houses,” said Chiranjeev.
Chiranjeev is a fashion designer by profession, but an artist by passion.
Social Activist Sruti Mohapatra’s Childhood Memories Through Art Work
Renowned social activist Sruti Mohapatra and artist Gopal Rath have jointly exhibited Sruti’s childhood memories in the temple city.
Master Canteen Square In Spider Nest
Biswajit Baliarsingh and Niroj Jaysingh showcased the Master Canteen square here in a spider nest. They have compared the spider nest with the Google map of the city.
“I tried to showcase how the city is growing like a nest. I have used thread to make this nest. I have also showcased Master Canteen square’s history through my art work. How we have the square excluding the canteen,” said Biswajit.
Comparison of Old Bhubaneswar With Present
Artist Biswajita Moharana has showcased a ceramic work that compares present-day Bhubaneswar with the past. She has showcased the old Bhubaneswar in print, and its reflection today in a ceramic plate. In place of trees, she has showcased industries, in place of a smiling girl child, she has showcased loneliness and in place of a letter box, she has showcased mobile phone.
Temple City In Kerosene Lamp (Dibiri)
Artist Priyadarshini Mohanty exhibited the reflection of Bhubaneswar since its inception in 1948.
She has made a kerosene lamp (dibiri) with galvanised sheet and acrylic colour. Here dibiri symbolizes evolution and progress. “But development activities have led to problems of large-scale deforestation and increasing volume of traffic, pollution and temperature rise etc,” said Priyadarshini.
Besides, artist Nilansubala Sasmal has showcased a bed in antique wood and thread and a hand-stitched cushion.
Artist Gouri Moharana showcased the memory and cycle journey of his father in the temple city.
Artist and curator of the exhibition Veejayant Dash said, “We have received a great success in our first edition of the exhibition. This time we have not invited anyone. The artists came forward for the exhibition by getting information about it through social media.”
He also said people from various walks of life, including film making, social activism, economics, education, architecture, business and anthropology, participated in the exhibition. “We have called the exhibition 0674, as it is the city’s unique identity. We earlier had landline phones and, without 0674, we could not connect,” Dash said.
The exhibition is on till April 28.