Mixed Media on Hanji Paper

DeseeArt showcases the work of Sudipta Das in celebration of World Refugee Day.

last year
this girl
this girl you see
she was not a refugee
but just a child
who loved to read
to walk with grandma
by the sea
the nights were loud
they had to flee
so now
we call her refugee
she is a child
may she be free
she could be you
she could be me

‘free’ by Amy Ludwig Van Derwater


“Refugee” is an installation piece by Sudipta Das for the India Art Fair 2019 comprised of numerous paper figures that are climbing up the height of the wall, scrambling desperately in an attempt to achieve safety, reflecting her own family struggles. In this tumultuous piece, the seemingly confused and bewildered figures clutch their personal belongings as they are on the move. Each figure represents a sense of survival and longing for a better life. Due to Sudipta and her family’s own struggles with migration, she has a predilection to address these issues in her work. This installation makes the viewer feel an unattainable vertical distance, anxious to find out where the figures are going and what lies beyond what meets the eye.

Born in 1985 in Silchar, Assam, Sudipta Das completed her Master’s in Fine Arts from Kala Bhavan, Vishwa Bharati at Shantiniketan. Her art remits historical themes, comprising views gained in hindsight. Her recent fascination was towards a reconstructed history where fragmentation played an important role. Her penchant to focus on these issues stems from her past of being a fourth-generation migrant from Bangladesh herself. Her solo exhibitions include ones at Gachang Art Studio in South Korea and at Latitude 28 in New Delhi. Her works were also shown in prestigious fairs such as the India Art Fair, and the Sumuk Biennale, South Korea. The artist currently lives in Vadodara and works from Baroda Space Studio.

Do you think Sudipta’s work represents the state of affairs of refugees accurately? Do you relate with the struggles Sudipta portrays? Let us know in the comments or tag someone you think would relate.

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