Friday, September 7, 2012

'Collective nature of work doesn’t cause a cacophonic collage.’

Referring to the folios, which were comprised of the Hamza Nama, Gulammohammed Sheikh in his speech to the 2007 International Congress of Aesthetics had made the following points:
  • The most striking example of the Mughal experiment are the large folios of Hamza Nama in which about a hundred artists worked over a period of fifteen years (1562-1577) to illustrate Persian tales of a rebel who is often identified with the uncle to the Prophet.
  • Despite the Perso-Arabic location of the narrative, which also includes exploits of the hero in distant lands, the stories are totally set in the Indian context, with local flora and fauna, architecture, and dramatis personae derived from a variety of racial types.
  • What is most significant is the fact that the collective nature of the work does not result in a cacophonic collage, but projects an image of multiple visions, each in relation to as well as independent from the others. For instance, the tenor of loud faience patterns matches the animated intensity of figures, keeping the spatial planes alive with resilient tensions.
  • This reveals in some respects a quality of life – of living together of communities, each with a definite view of the world in dialectic interaction with the other. Difference is not a sign of disorder or disunity.’
Incidentally, his works have sought to explore multiplicities as well as simultaneity. He has stated that his interest in these particular forms have triggered the multiple portrayals’ exploration, sans a linear sequentiality, with an intrinsic order, which would bind it all together.

So if you worked with a frame as I did, he adds, the question was how to break it, and bring multiple stories within its borders with several entries and exists, to enable the viewer to enter from one story into the other: either from the point he chose or the points that the paintings would suggest.

(Information courtesy: (The Guild Collection – Series I – 2012; Renuka Sawhney essay)

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