The Mahabharata has several facets as well as multiples lessons to learn. Bringing a slice of this epic in the form of art is an ongoing exhibition, Exploring The Epic Mahabharat. An amalgam of pieces that portray a condensed version of 18 episodes, the exhibition, curated by Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya, features the works of artists Aditya Basak, Jaya Ganguly, Chandra Bhattacharjee and Samir Aich.
Bringing in a connect between elements of the Mahabharata and the modern-day Kurukshetra is Aich, through his mixed media paintings. “Mahabharata ko maine jis tarah se describe kiya hai, woh aajtak duniya mein chal raha hai. Abhi bhi humein samaaj ek chakravyuh mein gher deta hai, aur fir jab nikalne ko bolta hai, tab maar deta hai,” he says, sharing that the paintings took him four to five months to complete.
Basak, too, recreates episodes from the epic in his works. “The intricacies of the politics, war and the way this epic is described, is unparalleled. So, it was a great challenge. Through my works, I wanted to depict the emotion, the tragedy and the war of this story. In one of my paintings, named Oath, there are two warriors on each side and in the middle, there are five brothers taking an oath of war. I wanted to depict the destructive part of the war alongwith the five brothers who’re ready for the dharma yudh.”
“The message that this exhibition sends across is that the Mahabharata is not just an epic that happened in our civilisation centuries ago, but is an event that keeps unfolding and continues to do so in our society even today. Through their paintings, the artists not just talk about topics from the epic, but also about what’s relevant now,” says Saurabh Singhvi, director of the gallery, adding, “The exhibition correlates the epic to the contemporary times. It is not just limited to India, but also has significance abroad.”
Catch It Live
What: Exploring The Epic Mahabharat
Where: Art Magnum, Yusuf Sarai, Inside Indian Oil Complex, Aurobindo Marg
On Till: December 10
Timing: 11am to 7pm
Nearest Metro Station: Green Park on the Yellow Line
Author tweets Anu_95m