Sitikanta Samantsinghar

June 2019

Sitikanta Samantsinghar born in 1991, Odisha, INDIA Currently lives and works in New Delhi. He has got his master degree in painting from Amity University, Noida (2018) and an undergraduate degree in painting from government college of art and crafts, Odisha, India (2014). In 2018, he received Junior Fellowship Award from the ministry of culture, India (2018) and in 2019, he was selected in 60th National Lalit kala Academy Exhibition at NGMA, Mumbai.

His works has always been influenced by the social realities surrounding him. He has been addressing the issues related to poverty, forced labor, malnutrition and food wastage from the formative years of his college. He has experienced such issues in his native village where disparities between such social power structures coerce the common man to become destitute. He metaphorically introduces certain imagery in his paintings to address these issues. He engages with such histories of oppression often merging such realities with surrealist imageries in order to lend a new voice to these issues where realities and expectation merge with each other. In his process drawing /painting, he often experiments with materials and surfaces his incorporating non traditional materials such as smoke burns in his images. He also has been experimenting with text-based installation in recent years.

Sitikanta is the selected artist of the exchange program between Kooshk residency and @space118_studios in Mumbai.


1: Statement

My work has always been influenced by the social realities and concerns surrounding me. I have experienced and observed such issues in my native village where disparities between such social hierarchy and power structures coerce the common man to become destitute. Being raised admits the farmer community of rural India, I have heard of narratives related to exploitation. Even today somehow the government administration fails to ensure social/agriculture security to the farmer which is leading to the increasing number of suicide within the farmer community. I have used the manual farming elements which have used by the farmer for cultivating agriculture. The question mark represented the future of farming. At the same time, this brings for awareness of the farmer as well. In this project want co-related the Iran farming issues and also Indian farming issues. Basically, I inspired by Iran farming issues like roughly one-third of Iran’s total surface area is suited for farmland. Only 12% of the total land area is under cultivation. But less than one-third of the cultivated area is irrigated the rest is devoted to dry land farming. Some 92 % of the agricultural product depend on water. The western and northwestern portions of the country have the most fertile soils. Iran’s food security index stands at around 96 %. Like as poor soil and lack of adequate water distribution in many areas, most of it not under cultivation. Due to employment in high and oil prices are low it had affected the farmer. Due to gross water mismanagement impact on the country. That’s what Iran face worse water future of any industrialized nation and also affected in farming. It’s the larger socio-political-cultural dynamic in the north. I strongly believe that social and histories crisis which I am dealing with my work as a transnational presence changing the social condition. The central demand was to ensure that each and every farmer get a percentage of the production profit for which they toil in the field around the year. India is gradually accepting my ideas, which were previously outrageous.

2: Coal Installation

The coal installation enclosing a neon sign, Shahid, represents arid lands that are forgotten these days. Lands which used to feed mankind. This installation symbolizes both farmlands and planet Earth that we live on. Burns indicate water shortage and industrialization that all nations are struggling with. Shahid in the middle of this installation is a symbol of a person who has died for his beliefs. It can also be perceived that nowadays farmers have made huge sacrifices in order to save agriculture and also it shows that agriculture industrialization is a failed process.When you look down to Tehran form the top of the Milad Tower, there are no signs of farmlands. Farming has been dead for a long time through the urban life.

3: Question Mark

The question mark and the wheat grown on it make us think about the future of agriculture. There are statues of animals installed on the walls around the question mark that symbolize soldiers paying tribute to their commander. It seems that they are sadly thinking about the fate of farmlands that are going to die in the future. This is because of water shortage and automated agriculture that has changed the traditional farming methods.Farming and its basic tools such as shovel are one of the reasons why animals and birds migrated or even died in the process of sedentism. The shovel hanging above the question mark indicates this matter. In the first part of the shovel we can see a gorilla as a sign of the first human who is ahead of other animals. And at the end of the shovel, we can see a red chicken that shows its death in transformation of human life from nomadism to sedentism.