Artist Paribartana Mohanty’s imagery examines the trauma of societies and individuals

“I am thinking about fall — the fall of buildings, morality, cities, and how it has become a common visual nowadays. The relationship between destruction in Syria and demonetisation is not distant. It is always a few people who are in power, and they take decisions that impact the rest,” says Mohanty, who completed his Masters in History of Art from National Museum Institute, and initially worked on oil portraits.

The Way we are on Earth - I | Oil On canvas | 36” x 54” | 2018
The Way we are on Earth - I | Oil On canvas | 36” x 54” | 2018 © Paribartana Mohanty

When discussions began regarding the possible demolition of the iconic Hall of Nations in Delhi, with arguments for and against, it had already been months that artist Paribartana Mohanty had been frequenting the site. He was interested in “the human figure in architectural photography” during its architectural planning, and how photographer Madan Mahatta had documented the progress in drawings and photographs, often with people in the frame. However, when the news of its possible flattening emerged, Mohanty shifted the focus of his series, opting to document life around the buildings, including its caretakers whom he would play cricket with in the premises, and also the possible fall of the structure.

At his second solo in Delhi, “Trees are Stranger than Aliens in the Movies”, at Vadehra Art Gallery, Mohanty recollects these encounters, painting the architectural structure and also his own memories.