Over the last three decades, Susanta Mandal has created a distinct language of sculptural installations that uses rudimentary low-tech mechanisms, open structures and basic machinic forms as metaphors of our times. His usage of materials, the play of light, moving shadows and techniques of chiaroscuro within a sculptural space transforms ordinary materials and events into confrontations of raw, interactive environments. He creates kinetic mechanisms that appear playful, as well as disconcerting to the viewers. Apart from various everyday materials, he uses photographs, film slides, videos and complex algorithmic programming to create intricate installation environments with entangled narratives of our time.
In this colloquium, he will be presenting his initial explorations with installation art, his usage of narrative and performative aspects in the works. Echoing the traditions of vernacular storytelling with painted scrolls and enlivening the narrative with lamps in the dusk hours of the day.
Susanta Mandal studied painting at College of Art, Calcutta (1990) and Masters from Banaras Hindu University, Banaras (1993), India. Ever since, Mandal has shown his works in many national and international venues. Amongst numerous international exhibitions, some notable ones are- 3rd Nanjing triennial, ‘Reflective Asia’, Nanjing, China (2008); Shanghai Contemporary, Shanghai (2008); India Xianzai, 20 Indian artists’ show in MOCA, Shanghai, China (2009); Hornbill International Public Art Festival, Nagaland, India (2011); 50 Years of Contemporary Art, ‘Aesthetic Bind- Phantomata’, curated by Geeta Kapur, Chemould Gallery, Mumbai (2013-14); ‘Whorled Explorations’, curated by Jitish Kallat, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi, India (2014); ‘Making History’, curated by Amit Gupta ,Colombo Art Biennale, Colombo (2014); ‘The Contemporary 2, Who Interprets the World?’ Curated by Hiromi Kurosawa; at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. Japan (2015); ‘On Line Dot’, curated by Maki Nishida, Devi Art Foundation in collaboration with Japan Foundation, Delhi, India (2017); Detritus: Matter out of Place, curated by Vidya Shivadas as part of the Serendipity Arts festival at GMC, Goa (2017); ‘Chobi Mela IX’, International festival of photography, Bangladesh (2017); Chennai Photo Biennale, Curated by Pushpamala, Chennai (2019).
He has had five solo shows- ‘Recent Works’ Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, (1992); ‘Assemblages’, at Art Heritage, Delhi, (1998); ‘It doesn’t bite’ at Gallery Ske, Bangalore, (2007); ‘How long does it take to complete a circle?’ at Gallery Ske, Bangalore, (2011) and ‘Hard copy’ at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, India (2015). He has been artist in residency with Khoj International, Delhi (2007), Britto International Artists’ workshop, Bangladesh (2008), and Theertha, Pita Kotte, Sri Lanka (2012). Mandal has been part of the LAYOUT Artists’ Collective formed in 2011 in Delhi, India. From 2011 onwards, this collective has made several site-specific collaborative constructions and performances in India, Sri Lanka and Zurich. Born in Kolkata, Susanta Mandal lives and works in Delhi NCR, India.