Abirpothi

India’s only daily art newspaper

An exhibition of watercolours reflecting the viewer’s own perception

By Rajesh Kumar

“A persistent memory shapes our future. Attempting to arrive at some clarity, by reiterating the one memory with the multiples of what seems like the same work, persistence has created its own rhythm and cadence”, states Jahangir Asgar Jani in his artist statement for his solo show titled  ‘Pareidolia: Songs of (Dis)Belief’.

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‘Pareidolia’ is the name given to the phenomenon of perceiving familiar shapes and objects in amorphous images, such as faces in clouds. As the title suggests, the artworks by Jahangir give the liberty to the audience to draw upon their own perception to carry out a meaningful interpretation from each and every artwork. And every interpretation comes from one’s past, knowledge and own experiences in life. A quote of Umberto Eco from the book ‘The Name of the Rose’ adorns the walls of the show that more or less reflects upon how one’s experience has an effect on their reactions in certain instances of their life.

The watercolour paintings are characterised by Arabic calligraphy and very vivid bright colours, which lend a distinct edge to this body of work and makes the images look highly appealing for each viewer. The imagery in the artworks at times seems like a juxtaposition of cityscapes and architectural calligraphy of Islamic tombs and palaces.

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The artist works between abstraction and figuration, and through the motifs used, lets the viewer decide what the images have to say. Jahangir’s work has been critically written about by respected authors and cultural theorists in India. He has had 17 solo shows since 1990 and participated in several group exhibitions in India as well as abroad. He has also made various short films which have been exhibited in various parts of the world. Jahangir Jani was conferred the Diversity Leadership Award by the World HRD Congress, USA in 2016 for his work in the field of gender and sexuality diversity through his art practice.

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Featuring various watercolour paintings of Jahangir, the solo exhibition ‘Pareidolia: Songs of (Dis)Belief’ is on view at Latitude 28 till 25th September 2022.

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