Sampurna’s works are poetic juxtapositions of the material being with its inherent fear of death and the unknown. Working with burnt objects and ashes, Sampurna tries to embody a space of juncture and ambivalence between presence and absence. References to death and existentialism are inherent in Sampurna’s works where both the artist, while creating, and the viewer, while consuming, are confronted by the poetics and politics of the materials used.
“My exploration of absence in my practice started from the cerebral conceptualizations of death emerging from the experiences of seeing dead bodies and the burning of their physical presence into ashes. This resulted in the mystic suggestions of empty landscapes or in the abstract play of colours in my works. They create an abstract imaginary space that is unknowable but has been omnipresent in my consciousness. Such spaces are intervened through representations signifying the historical presence of the body. These representations are present in the materials that I have used as well as the forms that dwell in the fantastic space.
In my perception, the knowledge of inevitable mortality and the existence of memories together create an in-between space. In this space the presence and absence of the material body co-exist. Thus, in the act of emulating the zones of immateriality, I have tried to work with materials that bear the traces of our sensory and worldly existence and our hankering for life. The charcoals used in my early works are picked up from funeral pyres and speak of the burnt bodies that were once alive. Similarly, the burnt bits and ashes of the objects also remind us of the ambiguous state of residual existence as an indication of the historical existence of physicality. The performance of burning also exists as a marker in my works. Its ritualistic presence in the social and religious life as a signifier of demise extends to the idea of historicity in my works.”
Sampurna Naskar graduated with a Master’s degree in painting from the Indian Viswa Bharati University (Kalabhavana) has exhibited at the Annual Exhibition of the Birla Academy of Art and Culture in 2015, and most recently was a part of the group show titled “The Third Hand” at Priyasri Art Gallery, October 2018. He currently lives and works in Baroda.