Indrajit Prasad’s preoccupation is the actual and internal battle between urbanisation and nature. The contrast he is afforded by his childhood in rural West Bengal with the skyscrapered city of Mumbai, where he now lives, fuels this conflict.
He recalls a symbolic incident from his university days:
‘The campus of Hyderabad University is the one of the largest campus in Asia. There is no lack of space for physical expansion. And yet it was deemed necessary to uproot a full grown tree just for the extension of student canteen. It happened repeatedly.’
Prasad continues: ‘From Hyderabad I moved to Mumbai. From one of the most thickly populated cities of the world, I address the dichotomy between the nature-made and man-made world that we live in today. This pain increases every day. I feel threatened by global warming, I feel charged by the green peace movement, but I continue to live in a concretised cityscape --- my works are the dialogues of mine within me.’
His preferred medium is watercolour. 'They have a unique sensitivity and touch to say what I want to say,' says Prasad, whose works on environmental and urban issues are also sharp commentaries on modern urban spaces.
Visually, he explains that the language of Indian miniature painting, Chinese landscape painting, and Japanese screen painting, together with the surrealism of the west travel into his work.
His work has been exhibited extensively across India, as well as in Tokyo. His work has been auctioned on Saffron Art where he has been artist of the month, and he was awarded the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant from the USA in 2012.
The Lost Green series
This series of paintings by Indrajit Prasad are a powerful expression of struggle and loss in the natural world.
In the artist’s own words:
'The world’s forest cover shrunk by 3.1% between 2000 and 2005, according to satellite observations detailed in a study published in the Annals of the National Academy of Sciences. There are many explanations but the fact remains - this green lung that serves all life on earth continues to contract.
In these works, I try to question the man-made problems nature and its inhabitants are facing. The green animal skin with an attached pump symbolise the struggle - the green itself vanishing, echoing the loss of forest, the impact on its inhabitants and beyond.
This work aims to question the law makers in this country - despite such strong social, economic and cultural roots, we are still unable to stop the ill-effects of our progress. This is our national shame that we unable to protect our green cover and its inhabitants.'
For The Space series
From the artist:
‘This series of works speak about the reality I encounter with everyday life in Mumbai. I am not against the development and the fact that growth is necessary for human development, but I feel threatened with the difficulties I face as a human being in this environment. My unconscious mind seems to store the internal and external crisis so deeply that I can feel, touch or sense the problems my fellow inhabitants on this planet are facing. The challenge I face in this sprawling metropolis is not about physical, mental or social. The struggle is for an existence.’