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Emami Art
2019.12.21 Sat - 2020.03.10 Tue
Opening Exhibition
Kolkata Centre for Creativity 777, Anandapur EM Bypass, Kolkata – 700 107 West Bengal, India
+91 9836292392
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‘The Mirror Sees Best in the Dark’: A solo by Bose Krishnamachari after 9 years
[Press Release]

Emami Art, the contemporary art gallery at the Kolkata Centre for Creativity (KCC) is hosting ‘The Mirror Sees Best in the Dark’, a solo exhibition by one of India’s eminent artists, Mr. Bose Krishnamachari. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition after a span of 9 years. The exhibition is self-conceptualised.

Following his travelling project, LaVA (Laboratory of Visual Arts) spanning between 2006-2011, Bose is exhibiting solo again after 9 years.

In this exhibition, he presents a series of 9 new art projects with materially rich and diverse assemblages and installations that explore the co-existence of extremes; the closeness between opposites – ornamental maximalism and abstract minimalism.

He investigates the state of ‘obsession’. The lure and pull that an obsession can wield, is similar to that of a mirror. A mirror also draws you in; entraps you. It accumulates your obsessions. It symbolises obsession. Bose looks at our relationships, our politics, our faiths, our wisdom, our communities, our gurus – our obsessions. He looks at image and icon, word and number – as literal sense and metaphorical gesture.

Commenting on the exhibition, Ms. Richa Agarwal, CEO Emami Art said, “The Mirror Sees Best in the Dark’, a solo exhibition by Bose Krishnamachari is a very special show for us at Emami Art. We are hosting one of India’s most internationally acclaimed artist’s works which he has created for us from 21 December 2019 to 10 March 2020. The exhibition explores the co-existence of extremes – minimalism and maximalism, the many human obsessions along with brilliant treatment and usage of various materials to create an illusion. A man who dons many hats – an artist, an art lover, curator, founder of the prestigious Kochi Biennale is opening his solo show after a long hiatus of 9 years and we encourage everyone to come and experience his seminal works.”

Poet, Ranjit Hoskote in his essay on the show, says, “What we see in Bose’s recent works is a portrait of what we have done to ourselves today, at the level of the individual, the community, the religious group, the nation-state. Sometimes, this portrait is manifestly clear, as in the works where he uses a traditional Kerala metal mirror. Sometimes, as when he uses Braille in his graphite works, we may have to decode the portrait. The seriousness of the artist’s intent communicates itself through playfulness as well as sombre irony. The sighted can sometimes miss the obvious truth, while the visually challenged can read it with precision. The times are dark, and Bose’s mirror is designed to see – and reveal – better in such conditions.”

Bose Krishnamachari said, “On paper, it may read as though this show is a comeback after a long hiatus. However, I do not believe it to be so. I do not consider my practising of art to only be when I wield the brush, or scalpel, or chisel. My way of life, in itself, involves the application of my artistic sensibilities, and hence, I do not believe in that dichotomy. ‘The Mirror Sees Best in the Dark’, has been in the making for about two years now. My works reflect my anxiety about the tensions in our contemporary society, and a self-obsessed autocracy that is looming. My language has been renewed, but it is not new.



I have also designed the space such that, you very tangibly feel the flow from ornamental maximalism, to abstract minimalism not only through my works, but also as you travel through the exhibition space. I have used soft, neutral colours like pink and slate grey, on some walls; some walls are slathered with heavily patterned gold and black wallpaper. So you sort of feel like you’re in a waltz between contradicting ideas and aesthetics.

I was introduced to Ms Richa Agarwal by curator and art consultant, Anupa Mehta, around two years ago, when Emami Art Gallery was still in the works. I was also aware that an old friend Mr Pinakin Patel was designing the gallery space. I was very impressed with Richa’s simplicity, humility, and her sincere wish to set up a world-class space for the arts. Richa unhesitatingly requested me to work with them on an exhibition, and I too, eagerly consented to it.”