Tanmay Santra

Tanmay Santra

artist bio

Tanmay Santra is an artist based in Hyderabad. He has done his BSc. from University of Calcutta (1991); BVA from Indian College of Arts & Draftsmanship (RBU) Kolkata (1999) and MFA (2000-02) from Kala Bhavan, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan. He is the recipient of Junior Fellowship from Govt. of India, New Delhi (2002-04) and ‘Artist Dinkar Thopate Award’ from Tilak Smarak Mandir, Pune (2005).

During an artistic practice of over a decade, he has had two Solo shows - Inheriting the Earth at SSVAD, Santiniketan (2012) and Domicile-Domain-Dominion: Tales of a Changing Land’ at Goethe-Zentrum, Hyderabad (2012). His group shows include Of Moorings, organized by Gandhara Art Gallery, Kolkata (2016), Blurred Gazes- Reflection on Hyderabad from a Distance curated by Anja Ellenberger at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Hyderabad (2015), Shifting Selves at Ganges Art Gallery, Kolkata (2015), Free Flow at ICONART Gallery, Hyderabad (2014), Art for Cry at ICCR, Kolkata (2014), Po10tial 3 at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Hyderabad, (2012), Creative Idioms curated by Seema Subbanna, New Delhi (2012), ‘For Husain at 94’ organized by SAHMAT, New Delhi (2009) and many more. He participated in a public art project called ‘Memories’, an interactive project with other three co-artists displayed at Hyderabad Literary Festival, funded by Goethe-Zentrum, Hyderabad (2016).

He teaches in Sarojini Naidu School of Arts & Communication, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, since 2007.

artist statement

My recent works explore present-day experiences of being in a fast growing city and memories of displacement. They revolve around larger concerns of existential unease and uncertainty of being in an unstable habitat.

The current series reflect my attempt to explore the (universal) meaning of ‘home’ within the possibilities of specific context and limitations. The wider notion of inheriting the earth or the politics of possessing/dispossessing is a vast terrain that I have been trying to explore through my works. I try to transform these social narratives in my own way, speculating about how they leave their shadows on my thoughts and perception. Through this body of work, I have also been trying to explore questions about displacement, belonging, entitlement and colonization.

I have observed the city and its outskirts transforming before my very eyes; and that amazes me. I felt the urgent need to capture them, to record these fleeting moments; and I rediscovered what Virginia Woolf said, “Nothing has really happened, until it has been recorded.” Through my work process I tried to explore certain elements that I felt possess the truth of time.

Moments captured in silence are central to the mode of language that I depict in my works. Yet, these images may indirectly evoke a kind of hidden violence and aggression. The viewer may find that they encode a sense of alienation and distancing. Perhaps I intend to emphasize this void, through which a kind of familial and social indifference can be conveyed.

Art Work