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Emerging from a dead end



Kanchan Chander speaks at the event

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Artist KANCHAN CHANDER’s film Mental Block echoes the common feeling of helplessness. But hang on; the experience can be cathartic, as NITI SINGH BHANDARI found out

After nearly four decades of consistent body of work that has stirred the artistic fraternity, Kanchan Chander is a remarkably confident woman. The torso has been central to her work, as do the images of Hollywood and Bollywood divas, and her own role model, the iconic Frida Kahlo. There is no baggage that she finds daunting to carry, and she is extremely happy with popular aesthetics. Imbuing her work with sequins, lace and feathers, in bordello colours, it’s a happy mood that Kanchan conjures up. Scratch the surface, and deeper meanings come forth. Kanchan’s feminist ideology has been a constant thread in her work.  The feminine body is both a fantasy and an object of power. It is also one that has dealt with inner turmoil.

Kanchan’s art on display

Kanchan’s art on display

Mental Block, a 4-minute film made by her and edited by her student, is a sharp contrast to her decorous works. “As creative people we all have that phase when nothing emerges. What does one do at that point?” she asks. At one side are the exigencies of earning a living (Kanchan separated from her husband 21 years ago), and on the other side are the benchmarks one creates for one’s own self. The black and white film can be taken at the autobiographical level; and like any art, it’s also everyone’s dilemma. Kanchan mentions it’s the common woman’s dilemma, the woman who finds it hard to make a decent living, and cries loudly in her private moment, at her own helpless situation. The feeling of helplessness, however, crosses social boundaries. It can be the artist looking for that great idea to take on his/her next work; the writer who finds it hard to pen down words; or a helpless medical, financial or emotional situation.

In black and white, the camera unabashedly strips Kanchan of all the outward frills, as she sobs or laughs loudly, rather helplessly full-throttle—the stark emotion witnessed by all. This dialogue with the recesses of the inner space is cathartic. Kanchan herself states that in the summer of 2013 when she had her own mental peace back, she started creating her famed necklaces with Hollywood and Bollywood divas. Letting out the emotion of helplessness helped her emerge out of it. From crisis emerged a new opportunity—and it is this fact that Kanchan would like to dwell upon.

Lawyer-artist Bahaar Dhawan Rohatgi

Lawyer-artist Bahaar Dhawan Rohatgi

In a riveting talk with lawyer-turned-artist Bahaar Dhawan Rohatgi, that also involved the rapt audience, it was the psyche of the woman, the feminine experience, that was discussed after the film was showcased recently in Delhi. The prosaic and the mystique of the feminine experience are two sides of the same coin. Encountering issues wholeheartedly leads to the calm centre from wherein dwells the key to all forms of industry. Women recounted how in their personal journeys they had to break conventional shibboleths to pursue what they wanted. Like Bahaar, who left the confines of a well-paid job as a lawyer, to chart out her course in art.

Kanchan admits: “Choosing a career in art demands a streak of unconventionality, as you move further from the socially approved roles of a wife and mother.”

The event organised by artculturefestival.in, an art platform, in the contemporary environs of the popular pub Ek Bar in Delhi provided a happy break from the usual auditorium-centred discourses as the casual backdrop made it easy for engaging interactions that steered the event.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Latest Art & Culture

Singer Shaurya Mehta’s indie song Ungin is a fusion of pop and EDM

For Ungin, the singer drew inspiration from the surreal surrounding around the Hanle Observatory in Ladakh.



Singer Shaurya Mehta

Shaurya Mehta’s new track Ungin is finally out now on his official YouTube channel. Ungin is a fusion of pop and electronic music and is receiving rave reviews from the audience.

For Ungin, Mehta drew inspiration from the surreal surrounding around the Hanle Observatory in Ladakh. The lyrics and the composition of the song have been receiving plaudits from everyone including some international radio channels & music critics.

Speaking about it, the singer said, “I always enjoy creating songs which have a deep meaning. ‘Ungin’, which we refer to as countless, is for all those who love new-age music catering to the youth and anyone who enjoys a good vibe. It is about stopping time and just being in the moment.”

Sharing his story about the song, he further revealed, “I was in Ladakh for a music video when I got to know about the Hanle Observatory. We could not shoot there, but the place is unreal; you can see stars and galaxies and it has a vibe of its own. I was transcended into a zone of tranquillity, and the place inspired me to write some lines which became the opening lyrics of the song.”

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Ungin beautifully depicts a lover asking for the time to stop and for couples wanting to freeze their special moment. Besides Hanle Observatory, Shaurya took inspiration from the sea in Mumbai. “Everything in Mumbai changes with time. But the sea remains the same with the sound and movement of the waves spilling its magic in nature ”, he added.

Trained by renowned singers Shri Suresh Wadkar and Ravi Tripathi for seven years, Shaurya Mehta is a singer, songwriter, and music composer who collaborated with leading music companies and record labels with songs garnering more than 6-7 million views.

The song has been played on Big FM 92.7 across 58 Indian cities since its release. Shaurya was also interviewed by RJ Rani on her show which recently saw singing maestro Shankar Mahadevan.

This year, Shaurya Mehta has many upcoming projects that include songs from different genres. His next is an EDM track released in May 2023. Shaurya is also keen to take his work to an international level by collaborating with notable artists and music companies in the world.

Currently, Shaurya is also working on independent music through his private record label ‘Chai Coffee Entertainment’.

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Latest Art & Culture

British author Patrick French is no more

The news of his demise was confirmed by Indian writer Ramchandra Guha on Twitter.



British author Patrick French

Noted British author and historian Patrick French passed away on Thursday. He was 57. The news of his demise was confirmed by Indian writer Ramchandra Guha on Twitter.

In a tweet, Guha paid a heartfelt tribute to Patrick French and applauded his books on Francis Youndhusband and VS Naipaul. Guha continued that French was also a kind human being, unfailingly generous to friends, and strangers alike.

Have a look at the tweet:

Patrick French is best credited got his biography on Francis Younghusband, The World Is What It Is and Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer. For his work in writing, French won the National Book Critics Circle Award in the USA.

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2 States author Chetan Bhagat uses Uorfi Javed for 2 minutes of publicity?

If you didn’t know who Uorfi Javed is: she’s an actor-model who has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry, breaking shackles with her unconventional fashion choices.



Chetan Bhagat and Uorfi Javed

Chetan Bhagat, the management grad-turned-bestseller writer famous for flip-fiction, recently showered woke gyan about how the young in India are going to bed with Uorfi Javed’s pictures under their blankets.

If you didn’t know who Uorfi Javed is: she’s an actor-model who has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry, breaking shackles with her unconventional fashion choices. From creating an outfit with just mobile phones and charging cables to acing an outfit of garbage bags, the actor, more of a fashion icon of late, made head turns not once but over a million times.

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Uorfi Javed has also been acknowledged by another fashion icon with an atypical sense of fashion, Ranveer Singh, on the popular talk show Koffee With Karan. But who remembers this?

So let it go and remember what gyan Chetan Bhagat recently put out there for the country’s youth. First, the author has two young sons, who obviously, if one goes by their father’s words, don’t get excited by the female form.

Bhagat not only tagged Uorfi, who is way more popular than him in recent times, as someone using her body for publicity but also promoted the long-lived taboo on sex in the country which may well be called the origin of sensuality and eroticism, Kamasutra.

The author also compared jawans at the borders protecting the country with the youth who are hunkering down with a hot photo under their blankets. As if, the armed forces is meant to be celibate!

Bhagat also said youth nowadays spend most of their time liking women’s pictures and reels on Instagram and Uorfi gets crores of likes. He further called Uorfi a bechari, who is making a career.

Uorfi Javed is a former Bigg Boss contestant, TV actor, and now a social media sensation aka fashion icon! She is no “bechari” and she does not use her body for publicity. But this time, Chetan Bhagat of Three Idiots fame definitely used Uorfi Javed for just two minutes of publicity.

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