by Obayya

From 22 September to 7 October 2023

Monday to Saturday 10am-12pm & 2-5.30pm

Opening on 22 September at 4pm

Anyone growing up in urban India understands the meaning of crowds – the forced sharing of small spaces and limited resources by large numbers; the feeling of insignificance and being lost in the multitudes. The stories of many of these people remain untold; they are the anonymous cogs in the ever-grinding wheel of societal progress, pawns in the game of capitalist economies that feed a cycle of production and consumption. 

For Obayya, observing and documenting these unknown crowds, and portraying workers in their spaces, became part of his language. Through his work, he subtly draws attention to social hierarchies, notions of class and caste that are ingrained in our culture, and the pervasive inconsistencies that populations have to bear with.

The exhibition ‘Temporal Dimensions’ brings together sequentially developed series of artworks by Obayya from the last four years. The paintings, drawings, prints and lately, sculptural installations draw attention to his preoccupation with the human condition, and the truth of lives that are tied to perpetual service in return for basic living needs. 

It was during the pandemic (2020-21) that crucial aspects of the human struggle came to the fore. A sense of alienation grew, widening the divide between the privileged and not so privileged. There was mass migration, and crowds were moving across the country, attempting to get back home. Obayya felt the need to record those intense moments, to get closer to the experience of individuals and offer value to their existence by including their stories in artistic narratives. 

Embedded within temporal dimensions, Obayya has built the ability to communicate both the familiar and the strange through his work. He presents a deep engagement with the human psyche, and engages sensitively with the difficult subject of migration – whether forced or chosen – as well as the meaning of ‘home’. His work pays homage to the resilience of those who toil; it is a monument to the tenacity of the human spirit.

Lina Vincent 2023

about the artist

Obayya was born in 1981 in Karnataka, India and he studied at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. Obayya  uses a variety of mediums as painting, drawing, graphics, short films making, and theater scenography. 

He won the South Indian Art Exhibition 2015 Jury Award, and Kalavishkar Award For Best Painting – The Bombay Art Society – Mumbai.