You Shall Remain Hidden - Amitava
Title: you shall remain hidden, Amitava
Pages : 152
Year : 2007
Text : Madhu Jain
Amitava’s Home, just off Bengali market in Delhi where he lives with his wife, painter Mona Rai, is impeccable-an aesthete’s delight. Uncluttered, it’s almost minimalist, with its clean lines and subdued tones. Even his studio is just-so, well pristine. Yet, open a few drawers and you see, neatly put away, the clutter of the world. Tiny, portable clutter that is. For, the painter is an incorrigible collector-a magpie who picks up whatever he fancies, wherever he goes. Metro tickets, museum tickets, garment labels, stamps, stickers, bits and pieces of various civilizations during his globe-trotting days when he worked for the Trade Fair Authority of India/India Trade Promotion Organisation. The list of Amitava’s private “collection” is endless. These comprise his visual memory, his personal alphabets. For the painter they also serve as triggers to memory, universal and his own. Alarge number of these “items” end up in his works on paper, adding an element of mystery and resonances of elsewhere.
Where in all this is the artist? Amitava likes to punctuate his conversation with quotes: he’s quite the literary artist. Sartre, Camus, Fellini, Bengali poet Jibanananda Das, amongst many others, crop up, as does Epicurus, the ancient Greek philosopher whose adage,”Live Hidden” appears to have had an enduring influence on him. Amitava has applied the Hellenistic philosopher’s advice to his drawings works on paper by incorporating his “found objects” into them.