Curated by Ranjit Hoskote, The Shadow Trapper’s Almanac, is Tanmoy Samanta’s first solo exhibition in Bombay. It features gouache paintings on rice paper and recycled book sculptures, two integral facets of his practice. Samanta’s practice explores notions traditionally associated with sculpture, including “volume and void, relief and surface, container and content".
In Samanta’s delicate works on paper, we find elements of cutout and collage reminiscent of Surrealist and Dada practices as well as a nuanced surety that echoes the style of the miniature. Samanta begins a painting by layering rice paper onto a thicker base, using a series of colours going from dark to light. His book works explore various types of books, including the kitab, the muraqqa, and the laporetto. Each book engages the viewer’s imagination in a unique way. Samanta’s use of desaturated colour and texture evokes a sense of rich nostalgia in the ordinary.
According to Hoskote, “Tanmoy Samanta’s works, with their combination of exhilaration and menace, formal playfulness and philosophical depth, remind us that art is not an escape from the world, but a route that leads us back, replenished by dream and vision, to the perplexities of the everyday.”