LATITUDE 28 Presents "Ghare, Khet, Dera" A Solo Exhibition Of Shubham Kumar

The Exhibition will be opened on 18th November 2022 at LATITUDE 28, Lado Sarai, New Delhi


This solo exhibition by Shubham Kumar unfolds the multiple readings of home through the lens of his family and extended community in Gaya, Bihar. A home is commonly defined as a place of safety and security - a shelter from the political forces at play outside its four walls. However, in this ongoing body of work, Kumar has iteratively investigated his ancestral home and farmland in relation to national and regional histories of caste, economic precarity, homelessness and land conflict. 

Ghare invokes the ancestral village home – a permanent place of origin for the family, even as it constantly undergoes a process of transformation, adapting to the new norms and laws of the land. This village home is entwined with the Khet – the family farmland cultivated with rice and wheat. Dera – often translated as an encampment or temporary home, refers to Kumar’s family home in the city of Gaya where most of his family has migrated to.  

The Khet – only divided from other farmland by raised mounds of earth or Aaris, has been the most active witness to land conflict and violence in the past. Kumar grew up listening to anecdotes of armed conflict between Maoist revolutionaries and the landowning families of the village in the farmlands. Using the camera as a tool to fabulate an escape route through the land, he re-stages these positions of capture and escapes in the field. Stills from these performed escapes in the safety of the present then become reference materials for Kumar’s meticulously photorealistic watercolor paintings. 

Kumar mobilises digital manipulations and layers of mediation between the documentary image and the visible surfaces of his work to obscure any direct access. These painstaking manipulations – done both digitally, and through the physical acts of paintings - work to reveal the inherently fabricated nature of representational images, especially when making documentary claims to truth. Maintaining an analytical gaze upon the surfaces of art making – the paper, the screen and the projected image become central characters in the show as they try and fail to hold coherent representations of generational violence. 

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