NS Harsha's portrait of the present moment in ‘Stomach Studio’

By Avantika Bhuyan | Mint Lounge

In Emission Test, for instance, you initially feel you are looking at rows upon rows of people sitting for RT-PCR tests. Yet each person is a story—in the objects they carry, their dress and demeanour markers of their personalities. There is a sense of vulnerability about some, with their hunched-up bodies, clenched hands and faraway looks. But Harsha brings in a comical touch as well, with one of the sample collectors painting clouds around an empty chair, another feeding parrots, and so on. As you see an elderly man carrying a turtle on a leash share the canvas with a person dressed as a king, you also realise that Harsha is trying to show how covid-19 has been a social equaliser of sorts.

13 March 2022