Among several of his other singular attributes, Sukanta Dasgupta, Nuclear Physicist ex-Indian Navy Officer, is blessed with a tremendous sense of rhythm and colour, which he exploits to create his marvels in collage. The visual tensions and balances manifested in his works are his unquestionable strongpoint.

His claims of capturing mere everyday realities is as deceptive as it gets, for once he gets talking the layers begin to unfold. Each work is replete with keen observations of the world around him, traits that drive present day society. Particular to this series are his reflections on the urban-rural divide or the progressive lack of it, a currently favoured subject in many a creative enterprise.

Collage, unlike paint and brush, is an extremely laborious and demanding medium, where ideas can easily diffuse in the course of execution, especially, as in the case of our artist, without drawings to support it. The “Collies” as he calls them, are energised and dynamic, where the order within chaos is impeccably captured, creating marvellous visual poetry.

In a work like Plastic Democracy, for example, the sheer volume of humanity seem to have poured out on the canvas much like gushing water from an opened dam, and then frozen for posterity. To capture such a moment of release in a medium such as his is nothing short of tantalising. Each of his compositions indeed becomes subject of great interest and fascination with the nature of the medium in mind.

In the work Romantic Radiance-Street Glow, notice for instance the semblance of random pools of water on the street, the depths denoted around the surfaces, the likely reflections that may fall on it. The looming multi-storeyed shacks lining the lane on either side crackle disorder, their virtual tumbling down withheld by the sheer surface tension of chaos.  The red glow in the centre Rs is the bride on her way to her new home, turbaned bridegroom on her left Rs denote the inner glow the title states, of life moving on and new life created; of hope expectation and anticipations.

With a medium such as his, his daring and extent of detailing might well daunt a practitioner of the miniature arts, a commander of brush and paint. For, while the mass of Sukanta&’s compositions may well emerge from “everyday realities”, the minute detailing with which he breathes life into each work can only come from his keen eye, imagination and remarkable expertise. Works like Urban Chaos, Snowscape, Strange Charm-Nuclear Chaos, Tantalus Triviality, are thought provoking, evoking images of unsparing environmental degradation and dumping in high altitude, the crumbling of the urban-rural divide with technology and aspirations as the great modern day equalisers, and a society starry-eyed about trivia. Says Sukabta of his creation Strange Charm-Nuclear Chaos, “The Sub-atomic particles Rs quarks, whichform the neutrons and protons have definite names Rs top-bottom, up-d own and strange-charm. The image depicts the vicious interchange and instability within the nucleus, which is responsible for the stability of the nucleus, and in turn the stability of all matter…”

A rather simple explanation isn’t it! After LKA, Sukanta opened his second of two consecutive shows within ten days, at the AIIFACS on 6 January. Worth a see for a thing unusual!