Sub-cover artist, Arts Illustrated
‘History allows us to understand our past. I find inspiration in musical historical events – say, the musical migration in India. My paintings are figurative and find their origins in the Patna style – a combination of British and Indian miniature styles – and I use bright colours which reflect the happiness and ecstasy that music gives.’
Sujiet Podar first found his passion for the arts not only through his Bachelor’s degree from the College of Arts and Crafts, Patna University, but also through tribal music and folk dance. An educator who, through his many learnings, has navigated the complex realms of history and pleasure, Sujiet has been honoured by the Shilpi Sangh and the Indian Academy of Fine Arts Society in Amritsar. Having exhibited extensively across the country and abroad, he recently presented his works in a solo show at the Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai.
Sujiet effortlessly combines the metaphoric melody of life into his works and his overall practice. He grew up in Chaibasa, Jharkhand, a region famous for its vibrant folk art and dance. Growing up, he took note of the various forms that ultimately found their place in his art. The language of his art is both local and global, all the while teasing viewers with the rhythm and electricity of music.
Why do you do art?
I do it as I always wanted to pursue art. Besides, this is the only medium I feel comfortable to communicate in. For me, art also acts as a bridge between the past and present, in all its aspects. Time, image, form – they all drive me to do art.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
The question sounds interesting. I will most likely continue to be a learner – do more experimental work. And hopefully, some remarkable award or residency would find its way to me… I also hope to hold more solo exhibitions of my work and be a mentor to budding artists – all that aside from enriching the sound art that I have been pursuing for the past many years, of course.
If you could meet your artistic hero/inspiration, who would that be?
In Indian context, it would be artist Subodh Gupta. We share the same alma mater and we both come from similar geographical, political and economic conditions. Globally, it has to be Yinka Shonibare, the British-Nigerian artist whose understanding of materials always awes me.
Who or what keeps you company while you work?
Well, that’s Music – the only thing that gives me the desired company and inspiration when I paint or work.
How would you want to be remembered?
I will be thankful if I am really able to ignite some sparks and motivate others to do good work and eventually, be remembered for that.