Kundan Mondal

Kundan Mondal

artist bio

Kundan Mondal has done his B.V.A, from The Indian College of Art and Draftmanship (R.B.U), Kolkata, and his M.A-Post Diploma (Painting) from the reputed Faculty Of Fine Arts, M.S.University, Baroda. His recent shows are Group Show (The Baroda March) At Coomaraswamy Hall, Mumbai, Four Man Show At Indigo Blue Art Gallery, Singapore, "Tentacles" Group Show At Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai and many more. He tries to understand his own time and space (both indicates towards a complex thought), either he have to escape or deliberately attempt to approach the complexities. Kundan retraces his steps back to history through the residues left behind, through the incidents and visuals. His compositions are replete with references from art history, folk art-Kalighat paintings, Patachitra tradition, the storyteller tradition, Eastern Indian mythology, and folk tales. He lives and works in Baroda.

artist statement

"History decays into images not into stories"- Walter Benjamin

The cultural diversity and the emblems of it; the issue that has invariably stimulated the curiosities and inspirations of my mind evoked me toward creative activities since the stages of puerility. My native nation rendered such a geography where I met with divergence at the array of every fifty kilometers. Under the faith in curiosity, I saw the visual culture of East India especially the contradictions and the conflictions between the rural traditions and the colonial absorptions of West Bengal as the foremost arousal that made a high influence on my interests, practices and perceptions of the Visual Arts.

My act and process of painting is basically a continuing interaction between the high art and the popular culture. Referring to a considerable extent from the popular Kalighat paintings, Patachitra painting, miniatures as well as those images which carry significant historical traits. I have developed a personal way of understanding these. For me it's an ongoing dialogue through my paintings and within my paintings between these differing historical visual sources. They are in a way a dialogue between a represented past and my act of representing the present. Culturally hailing from this part of Bengal these sources have always been part of my visual vocabulary

In recent years my attempt to create my works is by taking a reverse path of understanding history (Retracing history through the visual residues) through the images which are physically left over. I prefer to call them as residues of the past. Since the past is irretrievably lost forever, it can only be understood as and through residual images textual, oral and visual. For me the Kalighat, Patachitra painting, miniatures as well as those images which carry significant historical traits are residue of the past. It's through these residues and leftovers I try to reconnect with a period and reconstruct our present according to my needs and questions (artistic and spiritual). As a whole it's a personal way to articulate and construct a genre creating a kind of 'anti-history' painting in which it's not about melodramatic and idealized compositions at the service of a national conscience, glorification of the past or certain heroes, but a critical analysis of relevant, recent political or historical events.

I feel my attempt is in a way shaping the present continuous through the pasts forgotten.

Kundan Mondal

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Homage to Ustad Mansur

Kundan Mondal
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