Kundan has been exploring materiality for several years, whilst studying at the Wimbledon College of Arts, London. He has made incredible work responding to his surroundings. In the "Silent pond” he states that “I have tried to amalgamate my various inquiries on one surface. I have been engaged with the representations of colonial imageries and the politics of power through representations, which I arrived at by deconstructing representations of power (history) and bringing them on a plane with images of resistances (anti-history), which could offer conflicts to be opened out and lead a possibility of reconciliation.
The set of works is based on ornaments (weapons) and artefacts of the colonies found in the various museums. I intend to seek possibilities of retrieving our histories compassionately. Peace and non-violence have been the hallmark of our culture. Poetic justice probably is the most humane and just way to deal with power non-violently.
The metaphor of water has been the quintessential trope in his works, in order to relate to every day, history, and the universal. Human beings are characterized by the variety of emotions we feel and express. “Silent pond gives a cosmic dimension to my work by transposing the earthly to a spiritual realm where everything falls in an equal plane of compassionate love and understanding.
Silent pond may symbolize oceans, which can stand for travels and connections (circle of life). It can also stand for the multitude of human emotions expressed through tears and sweat. The floating ornaments (weapons) done in Gesso and 24-carat gold leaf might be physical representations of the artefacts of the colonial era, but they also stand for something pure, which cannot be adulterated. My works traverse these sensitive terrains of emotions both personal and public and creates a palimpsest of images floating on the cosmic waters.”
Kundan Mondal (b. 1980) did his graduation from the Indian College of Art and Draftsmanship (R.B.U) in Painting, Kolkata (2007) and Masters in Painting ( 2009) from MSU, Baroda. After practicing as a freelance artist for a few years, Kundan was granted the Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship(British Council) for his second Masters in Painting from the Wimbledon College of Arts (UAL) in 2018. He participated in several group exhibitions such as ‘In the Blink of an Eye’, curated by Shruti Ramlingaiah, at Gallery Dotwalk (2022); ‘Our Line in The Sand’, curated by Monica Jain (2022); Episteme, curated by Monica Jain (2021); The Asian Triennial Manchester, 5th Edition, curated by Alnoor Mitha, Manchester, UK (2021); The Boroda March, with Rukshan Art at StainlessGallery, New Delhi (2019); ‘A Lucid Hallucination of the Existence of Things’, at Art Centrix Space, New Delhi (2019); The Asian Triennial Manchester at Manchester Contemporary Art Fair (2018); CambridgeArt Fair, UK (2018); Knowing, at Ply Gallery, London (2017); and Enigmatic Intricacies, three-man show at Dhi Art Space, Hyderabad (2017), among others. Mondal’s works have been collected by the University of Arts, London, and Wytham Hall Collection, London as well as are a part of various private collections in India and Abroad. Kundan has received several prestigious awards, which include The Wytham Hall Painting Prize (2018); the Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship by the British Council (2017-18); a Junior fellowship from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India (2012-13) and Rajya Charukala Parshad Award (2006), among others. Mondal also has participated in several workshops, residencies, and conferences both Nationally and Internationally which includes the Artistic Conception International Tea Culture Exchange Conference.
Kundan resides and works in Baroda, Gujarat, India.