Indian artist Jagganath Panda is interested in reconciling dichotomies between nature and culture, fantasy and reality; his multi-media paintings and sculptures often illustrate hybrid creatures. The Tree’s long, arm-like branch sustains an active beehive, as well as a more mysterious feathered being emerging from within, moving from inside to out. The bark is densely decorated, a mysterious object of both organic and artistic origin. The image and title allude to the history of the Jagganath Temple in the artist’s home state or Orissa: built in the 12th century, the temple housed statues of Lord Jagganath and his siblings, carved in wood. Only Hindus may worship here; the temple remains closed to outsiders. Panda’s surrealist naturalism evokes both past and present conditions, environmental and cultural.
About the artist
Jagganath Panda was born in Bhubaneswar, India and currently lives and works in New Delhi, India. He received a MFA from Royal College of Art in London in 2002. His work has been featured in recent solo exhibitions at Frey Norris Contemporary & Modern, San Francisco, CA (2012); Nature Morte, New Delhi and Berlin (2011); and the Alexia Goethre Gallery, London (2009). His work is included in the collections of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi; the State Lalit Kala Akademy, Bhubaneswar; Fine Art Museum, Chandigarh, India; Kala Bithika, Gwalior, India; and West Zone Cultural Centre, Udaipur, India.