For leading Indian contemporary artist N.S. Harsha, art-making is beyond a simple arbitrary or mimetic gesture. Harsha’s work emerges from a confluence of self-consciousness and universal flow that involves a profound and sanguine relationship with life, with an urgency to arrive at conclusions of meaning that for him fuel the being within existence.
Harsha’s bronze sculpture चाहा क्या, पाया क्या (Desired for, Arrived at) is a ladder constructed not on the basis of linearity or logic but on the crooked, visceral movements of desire, assisting a climber reach their self-appointed ideal destination. For Harsha, the private gaze is a ladder, a gate, and collective intimacy reflects in the charming wonders of nature like the multi-dimensional sky, which encompasses us all. Our ever-changing positions in life, in which our experiences are fated to appear altered on perception, implore the artist to consider the discrepancies between what we desire and eventually attain, what we set out for in life and where we finally arrive. If the ‘truth of life’ lies hidden and concealed deep in the cosmos, for our search to be authentic, it must be bent like the tensile arcing of bamboo sticks that curve at whim. By proposing a link from here to the unknown in this sculpture, Harsha moreover allows posture to become part of the viewer’s experience thus re-centring the act of seeing as laced with emotion and judgment – a fundamental stroke of existence, especially in today’s zeitgeist.
*Presented in collaboration between Victoria Miro and Vadehra Art Gallery.