There is something otherworldly about the works of Keerti Pooja and Khokan Giri exhibited in Ways of Being (an online show hosted at Emami Art recently). This is, of course, partly owing to their respective styles: Pooja’s fine watercolour lines on wasli paper make the subjects resemble fleeting, fading shapes in a dream, while Giri’s signature illusions of perspective and dimension make his aquatint works seem suspended amidst nothingness. The sense of otherworldliness can perhaps be attributed to the distance — of class, lifestyles, realities — that separates viewer from subject.
The artists delve into narratives at the margins of our socio-economic strata — Giri studies fishermen and Pooja turns towards urban labourers — to reveal unnoticed beauty and undocumented journeys through their observations. Inspired by John Berger’s acclaimed title, the exhibition examines the shift in the relationship between the subject and the artist when seen through a socio-historical lens.