Suman Chandra’s Black Grave 2 is a poignant work, made with coal and brick dust, charcoal, acrylic pen and ink on canvas. The material becomes a part of the message, where the artist from West Bengal focuses on how mindless mining is degrading the environment. And this work has now won him the CIMA Award 2022. Sonal Varshneya from Uttar Pradesh has been awarded the runner up prize for an etching, titled Kissa Goi. And two special jury awards have been given to Asis Kumar Mahakhud of Telangana for his audio-video projection, Virtual Song, and to Ravi Morya from Delhi for his untitled acrylic and paper collage on canvas. Also, noteworthy is Sayantan Samanta’s Concrete Dinner.
The fourth edition of CIMA Awards, announced yesterday in Kolkata, carries forward its aim to not just recognise young promising artists but also innovation with existing mediums. According to Rakhi Sarkar, founder of Centre of International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata, the awards have come a long way since their inception in 2015
“The artworks have also conceptually become deeper and more mature technically. This year, one of the digital prints has won a CIMA Merit Award. In fact, new media and installations have been attracting greater attention in the past few years,” she says. In the fourth edition, besides these, the overall quality of paintings and graphic art have also been well represented. “India has traditionally produced excellent graphic art since the late 19th and 20th centuries. The quality remains excellent even to this day,” adds Sarkar.
This year, given the ongoing pandemic, the organising team was sceptical about the number of entries it would receive, given the breakdown of courier services and other restrictions. However, Sarkar feels that though the overall numbers were lower than from the other editions, the kind of artworks were deeper in themes and the creative process. This year, the awards received entries from Tripura, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Aligarh, Mayurbhanj, Uttarakhand, and more, which had not been covered earlier.
According to Sarkar, the majority of the artworks in the current edition have used recycling as a mode of making art. “Sustainability and environmental degradation has been an overriding concern for many artists in these times. What is fascinating is that CIMA Awards is helping to sift out works which are unabashedly indigenous in sensibility while at the same time being able to converse with the world,” she elaborates.