Ms Richa Agarwal, the CEO of Emami Art and Chairperson of Kolkata Center For Creativity, has been involved in artistic endeavours since 2007. She is a patron for artists across the state and the country. As an art connoisseur and art collector, she has her own perspective of looking at art. With her continuous efforts, she regularly bridges the gap of art jargon between artists and art consumers.
Emami Art is the extension of the deep-rooted passion for art that of the joint chairmen Emami Group of companies Mr R.S. Agarwal and Mr R.S. Goenka very strongly believe in. In 2007, while they were building their corporate office, they felt it was a good time to start a process of giving back to their city and its art community. Apart from art and its attached price tag, they were always emotionally driven by art collections, and hence, they drove along.
Traditional, modern and contemporary art are like three generations of the art living together. Every age, every form and every wave with its familial ties has strengthened the art of today, together. The sync and the balance is achieved very organically and it is better untouched. This Organic Evolution is the process of noticing art, conversing with it and then forming judgements and critiques. Richa at her place weighs all the ages of art and worships their existence each day. From Raza Art (contemporary art) to Nataraj Moorti (traditional art) and a Glass Sculpture (modern art), they all blend her place into a fine setting.
Art is not a piece of news that you read early in the morning. Art doesn’t block your mind, it lets your mind wander. It gives you food for thought. It starts a conversation within oneself. There exists no poll to like or dislike but to ponder. She would encourage you to jump beyond your realism and find your light.
Art in most of our heads is what we see on the walls, but that is only one facet of it. Art is performing, adorning, verbal, clickable – the way we choose to live is a form of art. It is the music we hear, the food we eat and also a good workout – it is as therapeutic as nature. The initial stage to host an exhibition with Emami Art is by applying to their Mentorship Program. The artists, when selected, get a chance to interact with a mentor and to discuss their portfolio. The evaluation of artwork takes place only in its physical form and not the virtual one.
They try to look at it from all different angles as well from the eyes of different age groups because let’s face it, there is no well-defined age to learn! KCC, a not-for-profit organisation explores the plethora of these possibilities and simultaneously considers the concept of sustainability, mental health and flexible life choices.
Richa at KCC makes art available for the soul, which gives people a chance to delve deeper. For a change, they can do something for themselves and not for others. You can say art is the opposite of capitalism! It creates an equilibrium between who you are and who people perceive you as. There are classes, for students, artists as well as people of other professions.
During the lockdown months, Emami Art adapted and smoothly transitioned to an online platform. The online revolution of exhibitions was hosted, and it is safe to say that they succeeded. From initial, petit glitches to a massive stage of talk shows, events and exhibitions, Emami Art happily achieved what they wanted. Starting with one exhibition initially, they are now curating multiple, events and classes every month with diversified artists from nooks and corners of the world! Gladly, they have not sat back one day or given up on gloomy days!
Prasanta Sahu’s ongoing virtual exhibition titled Suburban Shadows underlines the quintessential yet invisible hands and their non-verbal roar through the food they cultivate. The figurative, as well as non-figurative description in everyday images, paintings and their subsequent deconstructions, are very well highlighted.
Talking about Prasanta Sahu, Richa Agarwal deemed him as a silent, dedicated artist. He is daunting and lets his art speak for him majorly. Prasanta Sahu is one of the faculty members at the Kala Bhawan. Richa admits that there is a lot of inspiration to draw from Kala Bhawan.
Richa’s visits to Shanti Niketan acquainted her with Prasanta’s artwork, and it mesmerised her. The studio at his place was an abode of artwork that breathed life. Richa states, “At Shanti Niketan he works in the calm and serene surroundings, ready to take onto the world.” Richa’s favourite art piece of Prasanta is his Paper Weaving Series… The simplicity with which he weaves his story, and his language onto the paper is magical. Now, at last, they have had this honour to present his artwork through their platform. People can join these art exhibitions through their website and their social media pages. Apart from online curation, they have received artworks through couriers. This indicates the artists’ great passion to communicate with the world.