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The technique of "wash technique" in art travelled from Japan to Kolkata in 1903. Artist Abanindranath Tagore was hosting two disciples of Okakura, a Japanese scholar and art critic, who would wield water with a flat brush on finished surfaces, giving the artwork delicate tonalities. Back in his studio, Tagore began to dip his watercolours in water, working on successive layers of colour and water-washes. Unlike the regular geometrical patterns, the dream-like tonalities of this technique attracted attention and soon became popular in Bengal.
However, it did not remain prominent for long. Now, Kolkata-based Ajoy Kumar Ghose is hoping to bring this technique into the limelight once again. His untitled exhibition at Gallerie Ganesha has 22 works in wash technique. "We rarely see artists using this. It is, of course, difficult. The drawing has to be perfect. Once you add colour nothing can be changed," says the 74-year-old. The protagonists come from mythology, and the depictions vary from Krishna reciting the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna, to Kunti in a frame with Karna and Ganesha being worshipped. "The technique is perfect for them," says Ghose.
The exhibition at Gallerie Ganesha is on till October 10. Contact: 29217306.
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