Kala-Setu - The Bridge of Arts

Feb 1 – April 8, 2017 I Utsha Foundation For Contemporary Art, VR-39, Bhubaneswar, Odisha and IDCOL Auditorium, Ashok Nagar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Artists: Birender Yadav, Supriyo KarmakarSibdas SenguptaJulius DasAshis DashNiroj SatpathyPallavi Singh and Smrutikanta Rout

Kala-Setu Experts: Aruna Mohanty, Sangram Jena, Dr. Sangita Gosain, Dolgobind Rath

Curator: Kapilas Bhuyan

Inaugural Session Panellists: Ranjit Hoskote, Udayan Vajpeyi

Kala-Setu attempted to create an opportunity of collaboration between an advanced practitioner of a discipline like Theatre with 2-3 young and enthusiastic visual artists. Together they explored the possibilities of a meaningful transfer of ideas across the two aforementioned disciplines. The artists, in turn, were expected to exploit and express the trans-concept in terms of tangible outputs individually as well as in a group. The collaboration aimed at culminating in a suitable exhibition of outputs accompanied by a sharing of their journey. and a collaboration between Utsha and Raza Foundation.

There were 4 disciplines in focus, namely, Music, Literature, Theatre and Dance and the expected period of collaboration would be up to a month. An exhibition was organised by Utsha Foundation For Contemporary Art in Bhubaneswar towards the end of the collaboration period.

With the end of the call to participation, the following artists were selected and confirmed for the project - Birender Yadav (Delhi), Ashis Dash (Odisha), Supriyo Karmakar (Kolkata), Sibdas Sengupta (Odisha), Julius Das (Odisha) and Pallavi Singh (Delhi). These artists brought a unique diversity to the project with their backgrounds and interests. They collaborated with Aruna Mohanty (Dance), Sangram Jena (Literature), Sangita Gosain (Music) and Dolagobinda Rath (Theatre) in the course of the next few weeks to produce conceptual pieces of art.

The project kicked off with a glittering inaugural event at the IDCOL auditorium at 6:00 P.M. March 11 with keynote speakers including eminent poet and art administrator Mr. Ashok Vajpeyi and noted curator, art critic and poet Ranjit Hoskote. 

The inaugural event was a resounding success with great debate and discussion on the natural affinities of various art forms and how to bridge the gap. Udayan Vajpeyi, eminent poet and writer, took to the stage with Ranjit Hoskote (as Ashok Vajpeyi was indisposed) and gave a wonderful keynote speech on his work in the past and observations on bridging the arts. This was followed up by a panel discussion which was joined by the curator Kapilas Bhuyan (senior Journalist and Reporter), Aruna Mohanty (Odissi Guru) and Sangram Jena (Oriya poet). The entire event was splendidly moderated by Namita Panda (Journalist). This was followed by a robust audience interaction after which the panellists retired for dinner at Utsha premises.

This inaugural event was followed by talks at Utsha premises on March 14 and 15 respectively. These talks featuring the Kala-Setu experts Aruna Mohanty (Odissi Guru), Sangram Jena (Oriya poet), Dr. Sangita Gosain (Odissi vocalist) and Dolgobind Rath (theatre), were an in-depth discussion into their personal journeys and observations into their respective fields. These discussions were heavily attended and were an absolute live wire of intellectual discussion and debate.

As a lead up to the final event, an artist talk series was organised where each artist shares their ideas, thoughts and their journey as an artist in an intimate setting.

The Kala-Setu exhibition night was a grand success with each of the artists producing unique exhibits that truly reflected the collaboration with their experts and the spirit of Odisha culture. The evening was flagged off by Ila Panda Centre of Arts (IPCA) Founder Trustee and prominent industrialist Paramita Mahapatra who also felicitated the artists with a traditional Odia scarf or gamucha.   A stirring vote of thanks was provided by veteran actor Lalatendu Rath who had initially conceptualised the idea of Kala-Setu. The audience then wandered about the beautifully lit Utsha grounds to see the exhibits. They were also regaled by a performance by Supriyo Karmakar called ‘Visible, Invisible’ that was widely appreciated. Pallavi Singh’s ‘Chausath’, Smrutikanta Rout’s ‘Bhava’ and Birender Yadav’s ‘Apana Haath Jagannath’ series were singled out for special praise. 

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