Shadow art by Tapan Moharana.
Photo credit: Sewali Deka @naung_maai
A multidisciplinary artist from Odisha, Tapan Moharana lives and works in New Delhi, India. He has received his MFA in Sculpture from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. His artistic work is based on serene landscapes and busy city life, his practice is concerned with the concepts of land, displacement, and environmental politics. Tapan’s current practice evolves through an amalgamation of various local and indigenous art forms, like shadow puppetry and Shadow Theater practices of his neighbourhood.
Inspired by Ravana Chhaya, a form of shadow puppetry, Tapan is currently working with the genre of shadow play as a main medium. “My work is all about the narration of my travel, observations and discourses to the life in the sublime landscape. I try to portray those stories through the retelling of the story of Ravana (the king of Lanka and the main antagonist of Rama from the epic Ramayana). The story comments on the good and bad in human nature, the shadow reflected by the puppets in my work represents the shadow self in the Jungian sense, both in the individual and in the broader societal context, and becomes a commentary on the darker side of our shared history in terms of poverty and caste-based inequalities.” Part of his ongoing project “Lighted Cave”, Tapan’s work is process-based and experimental. Traveling with this work, Tapan plans to carry some objects and further develop his work at the residency.
Follow Tapan Moharana on Instagram theeasternbat