Ghana Shyam Latua
tremendous threat due to never ending human greed - land is mindlessly being excoriated by us through agonizing mechanical process. As I too belong to a rural back-ground, the poignant sagas of land acquisition, environmental and migrant crisis and modern-day slavery of tenured labor really affects me. In my own way I have tried to foreground these subjects in my works. I have been constantly encountering the change of natural landscapes of my ancestral village near Kharagpur, Jhargramand of Santiniketan, where I have now spent a decade. I try to explore, the spiritual affinity and relationship between the man and nature through my works. By getting divorced from the nature day by day, we have murdered our own divine and spiritual self. In that sense my works are empathetic reaction towards these issues.
I am currently working with a time-consuming method of creating layer-like formations of a land by pecking at and skinning the paper with a sharp tool, which I identify as the metaphorical violence to-wards the land by human interference to acquire resources for industrial and 'developmental' purposes. The skin of the paper is the symbol of the land to me and the method of picking at it with a sharp tool represents human rapacity. I usually combine this with various techniques — such as an application of water color tints, soft pastels, charcoal or pen and ink. Sometimes I leave the paper untreated and try to create a minimal monochromatic approach.
More recently, in a suite of ongoing works, I am inspired by the diminishing Khoai landscape of Santiniketan to create intimate study using pen & ink along with excoriated paper surface. My art practice is mainly based on the conflict between natural and artificial, man-made environment. The natural environment is under
Born in 1992 in an agrarian family in rural West Midnapore, India, Ghana Shyam Latua studied painting in Kala Bhavana, Visva-Bharati. A promising young contemporary artist, he is known for his unique landscape paintings inspired by the red, aridlaterite land that surrounds Santiniketan. Adapting to new ideas and methods, he both explores and expands the age-old genre of landscape painting, moving away from academic training. His work showing his experimental approach both in style and in medium reflects his love for nature which is under threat of the expansion of modern tourism and urbanization, Ghana Shyamhas exhibited his work in a solo show Khoai Landscape at Emami art Gallery 2021, Occupying Space at Gallery Exposure, 2018 and in manygroup exhibitions including Dih-Pahr-Cher at Ganges Art Gallery (Kolkata, 2020); Inside the Fibre at Arts Acre Museum(Kolkata, 2020); Annual Exhibition at SSVAAD (Santiniketan, 2019); CIMA award show (Kolkata, 2019); in Inward Vision at Arts Acre Museum (Kolkata, 2018) among others.
Ghana Shyam is the recipient of Dhi Support Grant in 2020 and National Garhi Scholarship in 2017. He lives and works in Santiniketan, West Bengal.
Ghana Shyam Latua spent his childhood in rural West Bengal. He investigates the changing landscape of the region due to human interventions and vested interests of mining and encroachment. The transformation of the natural topography remains the focus of his current series. Latua makes minimal and abstracted forms, in earthy tones that evoke a sense of the organic and nature. The layering of needle piercing and pricking is a metaphor for human interventions and associated pain. The process is meditative for him, and the works require a quiet and close engagement. They feel tactile, yet delicate, and invite the viewer to question our quest for development at the cost of harming nature. Are we collectively headed towards darkness?
He completed his bachelors, followed by masters at Kala Bhawan, Shantiniketan (West Bengal).
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