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The act of consoling

Dhrubajit Sarma
Mixed Media 14 X 16 Inches Contemporary
Dhrubajit Sarma’s works are based on identity politics in his home state Assam. Composed of several ethnic communities as well as immigrants, the state is rife with separatist movements and violence that emerges from clashes between communities and between the state and the people. He addresses this history of conflict and political unrest in this region primarily through the medium of printmaking. He uses this medium to create cartographic imagery that evokes a sense of place and figurative imagery derived from life in the region. Given that place and identity are intrinsically linked to culture, he weaves in the material culture of people’s lives by combining prints with textiles. The choice of textiles resonates with his work since in Assam textiles are community-specific and are used as gifts to symbolize the warmth one person has towards another. Sarma uses textiles to capture the ways in which a community, which includes some individuals and excludes the rest, is created through gestures such as gifting. At the same time, these textiles, placed in the background of his printed images and partially visible through the thin layers of rice paper, also evoke the way culture shapes life in Assam. On one hand, the mosaic of different communities and cultures makes the state diverse. On the other hand, these cultural differences also incite the conflicts that manifest in the socio-political arena.
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