Halcyon Gallery presents AVATAR, an exhibition by Indian artist Jagannath Panda and Russian artist Dashi Namdakov that weaves a tale of mythology, spirituality and religion. The paintings and sculptures by Jagannath Panda explore the clichés and social issues from pre-independent to contemporary 21st Century India while Dashi Namdakov’s mysterious sculptures submerge the viewer into the world of ancient legends, horsemen, warriors, shamans and Buddhist lamas. This will be Jagannath Panda’s first exhibition with Halcyon Gallery.
As well as being deeply affected by the traditional culture of Odisha in India, Panda cites as influences Conceptual artist On Kawara and the French-American artist Louise Bourgeois. In his earliest works, he experimented with different media on paper, mixing collage and drawing techniques to explore the role of iconography in communication and to comment upon socio-political situations in contemporary India. His signature technique, used in both paintings and sculptures, is to incorporate traditional brocade fabrics into their surfaces, often becoming the skins of beasts, the bark of trees, or the garments of mythological figures. On both paper and canvas, his detailed drawings recall the palm-leaf manuscripts of Odisha, while the characters in his works are often lifted directly from the epic sagas of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
Incorporating elements of shamanic mythology as well as the ancient art of China and Japan, Dashi Namdakov invents intricate and powerful imagery, combining the spiritual traditions of the past with present day realities. While reminiscent of the great cultures of the bronze ages and illustrating myths and legends of remote times, his art is also born out of contemporary culture and imbued with a background of rigorous academic training.