Exhibit र वं थ
Rawanth / Rumination is a process of masticating cud and absorbing, digesting, and dumping. Raw material is chewed to a cud and then broken down, separating the material into wanted and unwanted carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat. Later, the undigested material goes out of the system like a dump. The dump is then used as a fertilizer and the process of raw material grows. A process of rumination is like an endless loop, with no beginning or end.
There is no element you can consider as waste in rural farming areas, more so in developing countries. The practice of ‘waste and non-waste’ is not so recent a thought. It has been in practice for ages and is being revisited today as ‘recycled’. Although discourses surrounding the disastrous environmental impact of ‘use and throw’ mentalities have been floating around for a few decades, recycling as a serious objective has come back to the cities relatively recently. This said, the practice of non-waste is not recycling, but a much broader practice of livelihood and sustainability.
Kumar reminisces that as the son of a farmer, he grew up helping his family till and harvest the land. Surrounded by agricultural practices of dealing with wanted and unwanted fibers, Kumar borrows from the same non-waste ideology to look at his own practice in art. Whether making paper or narrating stories of the farmers and moving people – it comes from his own experience. This makes Kumar a 'sutradhar' for farmers from the Kolhapur district.
For the past few decades, we have been witnessing the farmer’s crisis, a significant national discourse and catastrophe. Interestingly, at first glance it seems as if this has not been directly addressed in Kumar’s works, but as you walk through you see that this is not the case. He subtly takes you through a process in which you start looking beyond the surficial elements. The material and process start revealing themselves as the metaphor for the main discourse.
We can look at Kumar’s work as two parts of the same story or the story of a coin which has two sides – one is the material (the paper) he makes from the waste/non-waste, and the other is what he draws or prints on that paper. The latter is about the life cycle of the farmers as moving people and the story of their displacements. Rawanth / Rumination also means pondering, self-examination, reflection, introspection and concentration. An endless loop, no beginning, no end.
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