Conspiring Clouds

Sewon Rai


The current socio-political scenario compels me to question the system in which we live with an apparent unrealized democracy. We are but mere puppets in the hands of powerful people in such scenario. The imbalance of power within and between people have resulted in wars, traumas, and violence of varying degrees. These somehow make way into my works and I further explore them experimentally in different mediums and through processes. While my work is loaded with larger issues that encompass my identity as a global being, some of my subjects are based on the dystopian vision of the world as a result of wars, violence, and human suffering and anguish. I am not only trying to address the socio-political anomaly around my everyday life but also mobilizing my artistic practice to identify these unjust stories as a continuum of global historical facts of wars and walls.

People relentlessly destroy and simultaneously construct our present on the rubbles of a dilapidated past. This comes to me through the rusted, rejected objects lying around me mysteriously and I wonder about their unknown stories. As a result, my surrounding materials and objects become the subject of my work at present. These everyday objects such as breakable and rejected woods or tin trunk carry symbolic meanings for me. The trunk is not only a trunk but it could also be a movable home as we use it to carry our materials whenever and wherever we move, and for some, there is no moving without it.

The never-ending changes in my surroundings and the perpetual change in the flow of nature urge me to explore various unconventional mediums and subject matters in my work. I have used the material such as Nepali handmade paper, old books, torn clothes, canvas, mount board, digital prints, acrylic gloss gel medium for transferring images, different coloured inks, acrylic colours, found or rejected objects, tools etc. Use of these different materials is an unconscious act which allows ‘accidents’ in my work resulting in unexpected forms otherwise unseen.


Sewon Rai is a visual artist who lives in between Kolkata and Gangtok. He has completed his BFA (Painting) from The Indian College of Arts and Draftsmanship, Kolkata and MFA (Painting) from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata.




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