Review by Sarmistha Maiti
March 15, 2017


Curated By Ushmita Sahu
March 8-19, 2017
A.M. (Art Multi-Disciplines) Studio, Kolkata

Is it just a struggle for identity and recognition? Is it just a struggle to gain equality? Is it merely about giving a socio-political stance? Is it celebrating one’s yearning for freedom over society’s expectations? And many more…!A deep sigh… A lonely smile… a loud yell… a lullaby of care… a jingle of struggle… a search for self… a quest for oneness… a song of love… a zero-ending journey… the faith in dreams…. the power of voice… the tone of protest… the colour of joy… the pain of separation… the wings of flight… the yearn to rise… to fall… to get hurt… to stand up again… to raise a single choice with plural connotations – I AM what I am!

The ongoing exhibition of artworks “I AM” at the A.M. (Art Multi-disciplines) Studio in Kolkata holds within the layers of many untold tales of the indomitable spirit of women from different generations, different thought-process, different desires, different methods of exposition but sharing and unifying one identity that they are artists and motivators of freedom against any kind of limitations. A uniquely devised group of twenty-five inter-generational artists and a curator – all women come together to put forward this exhibition, which is not merely a show of artworks, but an attempt to create a dialogue through a collection of different female voices via their creativity that often overlaps, interplays and resonates with each other entwining multi-hued stories, as the curator herself phrases it. Ushmita Sahu, the curator and also one of the participating artists along with Anita Roy Chowdhury, Anjolie Ela Menon, Arunima Choudhury, Amritah Sen, Arpita Pradhan, Aditi Raman, Dimple B Shah, Heeral Trivedi, Jayashree Chakravarty, Jayeti Bhattacharya, Janhavi Khemka, Mahula Ghosh, Mithu Sen, Moutushi Chakravarty, Piyali Sadhukhan, Priti Vaddakath, Promiti Hossain, Ritu Kamath, Ruma Choudhury, Sabrina Osborne, Seema Kohli, Shrabani Roy and Veena Bhargava embrace each other in their individual creative flow to knit up the tale of ‘I Am’.

Aiming towards the celebration of the International Women’s Day this year, Ayan Mukherjee, Gallerist, A.M. took the initiative to create this platform of exhibition and interaction where paintings, drawings, video performance, live performance art by young contemporaries along with eminent names could be showcased along with community art project involving the immediate surrounding populace of different age-groups and also art students from Amity University and others.

The whole idea behind this exhibition was to voice not just for a cause, but for driving a journey in which we are all a part and we all need to explore it in our own way/s to bring about a change in the understanding and practice of our own existence… what is it that calls for the urge from within that ‘I am”… and so I am and you cannot otherize me because of I am is what I am. Arni Sarkar’s live performance on the subject of the making and breaking of the myth of fairness creams which is one of the biggest denominators of gender construct in popular culture and everyday life was one among the artworks which almost put together the engaging and engrossing spirit and purpose of this whole show – we all are together and thus in the quest for this oneness, we know who “I am” and cherish “I am what I am”! The fight is on… and we shall overcome…