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Aesthetic Bind
Floating World

Dhruvi Acharya | Atul Bhalla | Jayashree Chakravarty | N S Harsha | Reena Saini Kallat | Desmond Lazaro | Lavanya Mani | Gulammohammed Sheikh | Nilima Sheikh & Fayaz Ahmad Jan | Hema Upadhyay


Floating World

Among several imaginaries conjured by the Floating World, there is cosmology and a revolving earth-world; oceanic flows and cartographic representation of the globe’s topography; and an incremental growth in migration, transmission and transcultural traffic.

[In art history, Floating World is known to be the translated designation of Japanese Ukiyo-e woodcut prints produced during 17th to 19th centuries in Edo/Tokyo for a wealthy trading class in liaison with courtesans, actors and eccentrics—with themes extending also to landscapes, mythic tales and historical narratives.]

In the present exhibition, the sense of being afloat is diversely manifested: from the medieval Mappamundi in medallion form to a woven and wired world map; from parched earth-folds to river sacraments to the sail-and-tent of a voyager. From lofty cities to sleepers on the ground to paper scrolls that chart miniature homes or unravel a private life. From pendulum lamps to suspended texts…there is resilience, levitation and a passage across.

In a sense, the act of painting/ ‘crafting’ is itself in command of metaphors, so with all its thematic allusions, the Floating World is an exhibition calling attention to the surface of the image and image as surface. 

Geeta Kapur,
New Delhi,
March 3, 2014