PRANEET SOI

B. 1971

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Praneet Soi is a young and promising contemporary artist based in Amsterdam. Soi’s artwork is generated as an outcome of his constant search, journey and observation of cultural contrasts between two places – Amsterdam, where he now lives, and his native Kolkata. His travels between these places on a regular basis have allowed him to keep in touch with the local scene and his works are a form of reportage of the same. His experiences and comprehensions are translated sometimes through his impressions in lectures and presentations and at others through artistic lexis. The Indian tradition of folk art and its techniques have played an important role in the formulation of Soi’s work, and so has his education at the University of California in San Diego which exposed him to evolved mediums like documentary film making.

His paintings carry traits of realism in a ‘western’ sense of inferring the term. They, like his sculptures, mimic real forms with incisive faithfulness. The canvas holds a solid body of colour, which creates an impenetrable background. The background holds a human figure or two indulging in some unspecified action. The intentional disorientation of pictorial space, where foreground and background lose their respective functions, because of total negation of both, reminds one of the Indian traditions of miniature paintings. "I started to look at my paintings in a documentary light, related to the existing reality all around us; it was a more sociological approach to art in general and to painting in particular," Soi comments. His artworks are more than just an expression, they link up multiple cultural traditions, techniques and political concerns.