Saffron field

This series is an expression of my resistance against the onslaught of majoritarianism that we are grappling with right now. The whole fabric of the work is built up with miniaturely painted saffron plants and speaks of the act of saffronisation that is been slowly creeping in the system. I perceive the process of crushing beautiful flowers to extract the saffron strands as an act of violence similar to that of saffronisation, which comes with a cost of trampling the blooming ideas of human co-existence and empathy for the ‘other’. I have used terracotta roof tiles and exhausted them with cuts, breaks and scratches to express the violence that encumbers history, culture and tradition amidst the political regime The roof being the protective shelter is the first that braves the violence of eroding time. I have coated the tiles with marble powder and lime with a dusky wash of color representing a sense of weariness. I have overlaid them with the imageries and texts relating to the hopelessness and distress that are sourced from my archive of daily news journals and readings of various literary sources.

Synonyms of ruin

In this work I had made plaster casts of a hand carved wooden box. The ornamental carvings resonated with me as the loving touch that art and culture have on a society. The broken off parts acted as a metaphor for the obliteration of this culture and history. Various objects are embedded on to the surface, which are later carved out as an act of excavating ruins. Here I have used found objects such as the rusted mesh, the barbed wire, and a miniature grater which immerges out from the cast to convey the act of violence inflicted upon humanity, art, heritage and culture by the powerful.

Puja Mondal


My practice belongs in a space of negotiating with diverse references and mediums. I incorporate accidental dents, marks and scratches which speak of the concerns and fear I confront as a young practitioner who had experienced the onslaught on the major educational institutions of my country under the new political climate. My art is a tool for voicing the insecurities that crop up in this reign of brute force, along with a glimmering sense of hope and immense respect for the people speaking up against it. My articulation takes cues from various textual sources and often appears in the work in form of images and quotations. I work across mediums such as murals, frescos, etching, mold casting and painting. But two disciplines that are miniature painting and Jaipuri fresco technique had been a guiding force for my works. Attending miniature workshops and an internship on Arayash at a formative stage has been instrumental in developing my practice. In some of my works, I prepare the surface for painting, and often grind the pigments by hand to make colors; the process appears very meditative and cathartic to me.