Jagannath Panda

Getting to Know:

Jagannath Panda

1970 -

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Jagannath Panda is an Indian multimedia artist whose works investigate dichotomies and contrasts in contemporary society including the push and pull between nature and technological development, religious tradition and changing spiritual practices, dream and reality. His pieces blend geometric and realistic elements, but among all of these seemingly contradictory motifs and approaches, Panda’s works are wonderfully harmonious and satisfying in their compositions. With his work, Panda calls into question contemporary debates around migration, culture clashes, and overproduction, with the inspiration often drawn from the front pages of local newspapers. Panda has said that On Kawaraand and Louise Bourgeois have also been huge inspirations for his craft.

Animals are the main focus of Panda’s artworks, and take the role of innocent protagonists in a world the artist presents as full of uncertainty and tension. This spotlight on animals is one way in which Hindu epic tales and legends are represented in Panda’s work. One such work by Panda is coming to sale at Roseberys on the 14th of June as part of the Arts of India auction. Lot 281 is a cloth and fibreglass sculpture of a sitting goat, decorated in patches of deep earthy reds, ochres, and browns as well as traditional patterned fabrics and carries an estimate of £1,000 to £2,000 (plus fees). It’s a typical example of the artist’s body of work, sure to garner great interest at sale.

Panda’s childhood in the Odisha region of India is another huge source of inspiration for him, as is the ever-growing urbanised area of Gurgaon in which he now lives. Jagannath Panda was born in Bhubeneshwar in India’s eastern state of Odisha in 1970. His father was a temple priest - an influence seen clearly in Panda’s artwork which is laden with spiritual messages and motifs. He studied at the B.K. College of Arts & Crafts in his home city, then at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Bbaroda, and later at London’s Royal College of Arts. Before completing his studies in the UK, Panda was a visiting researcher at Japan’s Fukuoka University of Education.

He has had many solo shows across the globe - from London to New Delhi, Rome to Beijing, Tokyo to Berlin - and has works included in collections in Japan and several high-profile institutions across India. Panda is a highly-celebrated artist, having won the C.I.I.C. Centre Prize (London), the All-India Award (Nagpur) twice, and the Alice Boner Memorial Award. He is represented by Vadehra Art Gallery in New Delhi and Halcyon Gallery in London.

In addition to his work as an artist, Panda is also a curator and founder of the Utsha Foundation -  a charitable trust founded in 2011 dedicated to promoting and nurturing the cultural output of the Odisha region. The Foundation works in a multitude of ways, hosting workshops, lectures, and training events for up-and-coming cultural practitioners, as well as residencies for artists, writers, and academics. Utsha has hosted more than 40 artists from across the world and across multiple disciplines at their residencies so far.

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