In Conversation With Kanchan Chander

by Ekatmata Sharma
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“I don’t paint dreams and nightmares, I paint my own reality.” When these words by Frieda Kahlo flashed before the screening of ‘Mental Block’ by artist Kanchan Chander it was sure its going to be a women’s day out. As part of its ‘Engage Series’ Art Culture Festival curated “The Psyche of a woman” an evening of art appreciation, video screening and conversations between senior artist Kanchan Chander and young artist Bahaar Dhawan Rohtagi at Ek Bar in Delhi. The walls of Ek Bar came alive with the vivid mixed-media art works of Kanchan painted with sequins. She displayed eight of her works, from her Frieda Kahlo, Hollywood and Bollywood collections. Frieda has a lot of influence in her works.
Kanchan Chander 1
The evening began with the screening of an intense and thought-provoking four-minute documentary created by Kanchan called ‘Mental Block’.  The monologue video depicted Kanchan’s emotional ups and downs as an artist through her facial expressions. “I shot these videos when I was upset and then I shot them again. This video may not be technically strong, but it has the direct expressions of an artist, which goes through his/her mind in the studio,” shared Kanchan. The video invoked many questions in the mind of young artist Bahaar, who has been paintings owls and running a campaign ‘Save the owl’ to eliminate the superstitions attached to the bird. Bahaar shared her own experiences when she decided to be an artist after being a successful lawyer. In the audience there were mostly women who related with Kanchan’s thought-process and her line of art works. Kanchan calmly attended to the curious questions of the audience and candidly interacted with them.
Kanchan Chander 2
The arty evening concluded with enthusiastic art lovers yearning for more of such ‘Engage Series’ by Art Culture Festival.
Photo Credit – Faiyaz Ally

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