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  • Sanjay Bhattacharya explores geometric abstraction

    Artist Sanjay Bhattacharya sees geometric shapes like no else. Even though they don’t speak, he feels that they express emotions. His ongoing show tells a tale about his thoughts and the emotions that geometric shapes express. A triangle, circle, square and rhombus may appear as mere shapes to us but for artist Sanjay Bhattacharya, there’s more to them. He believes that geometric shapes express emotions and he has the ability to decode their language. His ongoing show titled ‘Talking Geometry’ gives a glimpse of both these elements. Bhattacharya’s works are made in geometric abstraction. It allowed him to play around with geometric patterns to create different forms on the canvas. “Whenever we draw something, we cover a positive space and the negative space just lies there. This negative space allows us to see patterns as curves, double triangle, small dots and triple triangle, among others,” he explains. Since these are abstract pieces, the artworks and forms emerged out of these patterns cannot be planned. The artist simply worked with his thoughts and ideas, and allowed his creativity to flow. “When I started on an artwork, different types of patterns appeared. I mean I had one focal point but rest of the geometrical patterns just happened during the process,” he shares. For instance, in one of the works, the centre triangle was the only thing that was drawn initially. But as he was in the process of creating the artwork, new ideas emerged and the rest of the shapes automatically happened. Similarly, he transformed a realistic painting but allowed elements to flow differently on the canvas. “The original painting carries hills, a tree and mustard flowers. Initially, I planned to make the trees into straight lines, but as I was replicating it onto the canvas, an idea poped up and I decided to represent the tree into textured triangles. Similarly, instead of giving mustard flowers their natural shape, I used graphical lines,” he clarifies. The artist has prominently used black in all works. When asked if it was intentional, Bhattacharya says, “Black is used to hold the composition. If I will remove black from these paintings, you won’t see any impact. It is not only adding depth to the canvases but also weight of the shape, i.e., how heavy a shape is.” This is not the first time that the artist has used geometrical patterns in a show. But it’s the first for him to give them the spotlight. “I have used circles and triangles in two of my other series, namely, ‘Tribute to the Masters’ and ‘Krishna’, in 2006 and 2012, respectively. But they were only as supportive elements. In 2006, my works featured Dali and Rembrandt and in 2012, Krishna dominated the canvas. But this time, I thought of highlighting geometric shapes only,” he clarifies. Talking Geometry is taking place at the Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre till September 27. Payal Kapoor, Founder, Arushi Arts organised the show, and Maneka Gandhi and Aman Nath inaugurated it.

  • Tahir Raj Bhasin goes retro

    The actor will soon be sporting several vintage items and yesteryear's looks for a new project. Tahir Raj Bhasin will soon be seen in Milan Luthria's OTT directorial debut ‘Sultan Of Delhi' on Disney+ Hotstar. The actor, who has been a part of several series this year, will share the screen space with Anjum Sharma, Vinay Pathak, Nishant Dahiya, Anupriya Goenka, Mouni Roy, Harleen Sethi and Mehreen Pirzada. The series, set to release on October 13, is anticipated to reimagine the charm of old India and create a visual spectacle on-screen. Bhasin will essay the role of a young, handsome and passionate 'Arjun Bhatia', who is a quintessential hero from the 60s era. Sharing details about his new role, Bhasin says that he took inspiration from the yesteryear actors. "For inspiration James Dean and Robert Redford were major international influences. Closer to home Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmender ji were iconic benchmarks of style from the 60’s and 70’s. The role allowed me to sport many vintage items like classic watches, shoes and more, something I really enjoyed,” he explained. Apparently, the makers took upon themselves to get the actors the right look. “One of the most exciting things about working with Milan Luthria is seeing how much detail he puts into planning, the style and the looks. I remember we spent weeks just getting the hair style right for Arjun Bhatia. Celebrity hair stylist Hakim Aalim was called in and after a few trials and hair cuts we hit upon a perfect look. The costume designers Jia and Malika did endless rounds of costume trials to get jeans with the right vintage cut and the right vintage jackets," he added. Arjun’s outfits across the series carry basic solid colours, such as black, white and shades of brown which allowed Bhasin to blend in perfectly with the retro era of the 60s.

  • Get, set, (Pokemon) GO in Hindi

    To engage and enhance the experience of Indian audiences, TPC and Niantic have renamed the game's characters in Hindi. There is a surprise for online gamers in India. The Pokémon Company (TPC) and Niantic, who are behind the popular augmented reality-based game ‘Pokémon GO’, have launched the Pokémon GO app in Hindi. To engage and enhance the experience of Indian audiences, the makers have renamed several of its characters. Revealing the details about them, Omar Tellez, VP for Emerging Markets, Niantic, said, “We have renamed nearly 800 characters. They have been chosen carefully, keeping their meanings in the local language (Hindi) in mind.” India becomes the 10th country in the world that has got localised content in the game. Pokémon GO was first launched in India in 2016. And, since then the company has worked very hard to cater to the needs to its Indian audiences. When asked why it took the makers so long to go desi, Tellez, clarified that they were resolving technical and operational issues. “We needed time to get the right game board and a team in India. Translating a game is not just about entering the words in Google Translate and pressing a button. TPC also ensured that the names of the monsters also mean something in Hindi and that was time consuming,” he shared. India has contributed tremendously to Pokemon Go in terms of the downloads. Keeping the needs of Indian audiences in mind, TPC and Niantic also hinted to introduce the app in other vernacular languages. “We have significantly expanded our game board. Hindi is the first of many languages that we aspired to bring in India. We are here to support every single community in India,” he added. Pokemon Go was launched in India in 2016. Since its launch, nearly 5,00,000 Pokestops have been added across India to grab eyeballs. The makers also introduced trading card games, TV series, merchandise, films and toys, among other things, after realising the game’s popularity among the masses. Starting with 151 creatures, Pokémon has continued to capture the imagination of children and adults alike and currently boasts over 1,000 creatures.

  • When villain dons chef's hat

    The actor donned a chef's hat on his birthday where he made a unique cake. Veteran actor Ranjeet celebrated his birthday recently. On this occasion, he took to Instagram to give his fans a glimpse of his birthday celebrations. The actor in the video was seen with a one-of-a-kind cake. Unlike others who prefer a cream or a fondue-based cake, Ranjeet was seen with a halwa cake that he made himself and decorated it with dry fruits. "Ayeeee... Cake nahi, Halwa; Merey birthday ka Jalwa..", the caption read. Ranjeet was a popular villain in the 80s and 90s. He has given several exceptional negative performances in Bollywood and is still remember for them. He is also extremely active on social media and enjoys posting pictures and videos of himself to keep his fans entertained.

  • Rithvik Dhanjani on 'Lost and Found In Singapore'

    This is the first time that the actor will be a part of an interactive film. Actor Rithvik Dhanjani, who has been a popular face in the television industry, has taken a giant leap. He will soon be seen in his first interactive film titled ‘Lost and Found in Singapore’. He will share the screen space with actress Apoorva Arora. Talking about the interactive concept, Dhanjani said, “This is an interactive film and that's the beauty of it. It is not a usual phenomenon in romantic comedy films that you get to choose what the character will do and not do. It is exciting for the audience to choose where Dhruv or Sitara will go and see what happens. It's an immersive experience. You will surely want to see both sides of the story.” He added, “It's very tricky for the writer Kanishka Singh Deo and director Harsh Dedhia to approach such a film, as they have to engage the audiences in both the stories. The team has done a fantastic job. You will get engrossed in both stories; I can bet on that. You may choose any of the stories, but you will want to go back and know what is happening on the other side. The audience embarks on a journey with us, and I think that's the beauty of the craft that our director shares.” The film will air on MX Player.

  • Zee Bollywood to celebrate 5th anniversary with hit films

    The channel is set to bring some of the best blockbusters to audiences as part of its fifth anniversary celebrations. With a mission to showcase only Bollywood films, Zee Bollywood is set to celebrate its fifth anniversary on August 31. To mark the occasion, the channel has organised a five-day extravaganza called '5 Saal Bemisaal'. As part of this, it will telecast blockbuster Hindi films from different genres, such as romance, action, drama and entertainment, every night at 9 PM. The line-up of films include 'Krrish', 'Maine Pyaar Kiya', 'Indian', 'Dangal' and 'Koyla'. So what are you waiting for? Tune into Zee Bollywood from August 28 to September 1 to watch these entertainment-packed films on your TV screens.

  • 'I always struggle with drinking scenes'

    Actor Mohit Raina recently revealed details about his forthcoming series and the challenges he faced while shooting it. Actor Mohit Raina is back on OTT after a gap of a year. He will soon be seen playing an ex-cop-turned-mercenary 'Avinash Kamath' in the upcoming series 'The Freelancer'. Though Mohit has donned the uniform in the past, getting into the skin of character didn't come naturally. To adapt to the intricacies of his reel character, Raina spent time to understand its nuances. He said, "Well to stay true to the story I had to show the transition of the character from early failures in life to a mature guy who has lived his life and gained experience. For the early life we tried to look lean and for the current life it was slight grey hair and someone who would come across as harmless and would easily blend in a crowd." But it wasn't the role that made him bite his nails. It was shooting drinking scenes that gave him jitters. "I always struggle with drinking scenes, it’s something that doesn’t come easy to me. Apart from that it was more action-related and getting used to the terrain on a daily basis," he shared. is based on the book 'A Ticket to Syria' written by Shirish Thora. The series is directed by Bhav Dhulia and produced by Friday Storytellers. It is helmed by Neeraj Pandey, who has donned the hat of its creator. The Freelancer revolves around a man on an extraction mission and a young girl held captive in a war-torn hostile environment of Syria. It will air on Disney+Hotstar from September 1. Besides Raina, the series features actors Anupam Kher and Kashmira Pardeshi in the lead, along with actors Sushant Singh, John Kokken, Gauri Balaji and Navneet Malik, Manjiri Faddnis and Sarah Jane Dias in prominent roles.

  • Kareena roped in as brand ambassador for this brand

    The actress has turned a brand ambassador of MyTrident during the launch of its Fall-Winter’23 collection. Actress Kareena Kapoor Khan has been announced as a brand ambassador of MyTrident, the flagship home furnishing brand of Trident Group, during the launch of its Fall-Winter’23 collection. The actress, speaking about her association with the brand said, “I’m delighted to be associated with MyTrident. Known for their wide range of home furnishing collections, their innovative designs and premium finish reflect one’s true self and set the perfect mood for any home space. There is something to suit every style and every home.” Dr. Rajinder Gupta, Chairman, Trident Group, sharing his excitement after roping Kareena as a brand ambassador revealed,“We are super-excited and thrilled to welcome Kareena Kapoor Khan in MyTrident family. She is an exceptional blend of grace, talent, and relatability that makes her an ideal face for our brand. Her values seamlessly mirror the brand's dedication to crafting living spaces that are not only exquisite but also welcoming and comfortable." MyTrident was launched in India in 2014. Since then, its growth is driven by doubling the point of sales, adding new categories, and diversifying the range based on the evolving needs of the consumers. Currently, the company has a retail network of over 3,500 retail touch points, including 50 exclusive stores across India.

  • The ‘surreal’ world of Jatin Malik

    Once used to deck up your home, Salvador Dali’s artworks can now be worn as a piece of clothing. Fashion designer Jatin Malik’s latest collection is inspired from the surrealist artist’s paintings. Fashion designer Jatin Malik’s infatuation with art led him to look out for artists who were adept at translating ideas in subconscious mind on the canvas. That’s when he stumbled upon Salvador Dali’s works. Dali was proficient at conceiving a painting in his mind before putting it on paper. This struck chords with the designer and gave birth to his latest collection titled ‘Dali’, which draws inspiration from the Spanish maestro artist. Malik’s collection features 100 looks. Each ensemble carries ~3-4 articles (clothes as well as shoes), which are handmade, hand-printed and hand-stitched to perfection. The collection also carries intricate embroidery, textures and motifs, along with concept looks. All pieces are a work of art. The collection includes Dali’s signature elements, abstract patterns as well as colours, which has been interpreted in different ways. For instance, the orange clock in Dali’s ‘The persistence of memory’ artwork has been replicated as a standalone piece as a shoe in gold, which rests on brown-coloured suede base. Similarly, the designer replicated the sunflowers in the artist’s paintings in different ways. He used sunflowers on shoes by hand-painting them and added them a textured look along with other elements and embroidery on a coat. When asked if different looks were created on purpose, Malik pointed out that since everything was handmade, it was difficult to replicate the techniques on the fabric. “It was hard to visualise the art at first and execute the fluidity in terms of the embroidery and put it on the paper as well as the garment. To ace it, we broke down the front placket of the garment and gave it completely abstract form,” he shares. In terms of fabrics, Malik refrained from using heavy threads. He says, “They do not work with fluidic embroidery.” He instead used linen silk in sherwanis, shrugs and jackets to add free flow fabric and flattering silhouette. However, the designer kurtas carry concept looks with different fabrics. In terms of prints and hand-crafted embroidered pieces, the collection features certain signature styles, such as, aari, dabka, French knots and hand-painted kurta. These were decided based on the fabric’s quality. The collection also includes ‘paani ka kaam’, which is a Persian embroidery popular in Rajasthan. The collection also features hand-painted coats and jackets. Calling it as the three-tier embroidery, Malik says, “It uses a lot of three-dimensional (3D) elements. In this, we hand-painted the fabrics and surface textured them. They were then ornated with 3D elements, such as dabkas or aari.” This is not the first time the designer is smitten by an artist. Last year, his collection took inspiration from another maestro artist, Pablo Picasso. He featured cubism comprising of geometric patterns and straight lines in the designed outfits. However, ‘Dali’ comes after a long span of nearly seven months. Apparently, the designer spent ample time with his team in pre-production to create some of the Dali’s artworks outdoors. He employed artists, who sketched the artworks on paper, and workers, who welded stainless steel pieces to create their replica, giving the designer a chance to see how the final pieces would look in different colours. Jatin Malik’s works can be viewed at the designer’s flagship store, Jatin Malik Couture in Defence Colony, New Delhi.

  • Utsav pays ode to freedom fighters

    The two-day event saw performances by Odissi exponent and Padma Shree awardee Ranjana Gauhar and her disciples as an ode to freedom fighters who dedicated their lives for India's independence. The 18th edition of ‘Saare Jahan Se Accha’ took place at the Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre in Delhi recently. The two-day event, organised by Utsav Educational and Cultural Society (UECS), commemorated India's struggle for independence and included several dance performances. Odissi exponent and Padma Shree awardee Ranjana Gauhar took the centre stage to perform a musical dance drama, titled ‘Khud Mein Kabir, Kabir Mein Hum’ on the opening day. She, along with her disciple, Vinod Kevin Bachan, a recipient of the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puruskar, performed on Kabir’s dohas. Though it was a dance performance, the duo used facial expressions to narrate the tale on saint Kabir’s life and philosophy as explained in the dohas. When asked why she chose dohas instead of traditional music only, Gauhar said that it was their relevance in today’s times that led her to them. “Kabir gave India the idea of the importance of a human life instead of the background a person comes from. His ideas, philosophy and dohas are still relevant in today’s times and used extensively, despite the fact that he lived 600 years ago. That’s why we decided to use them,” she explained. Bachan said that the idea of freedom and independence (this year’s theme for the show) matches with Kabir’s ideology and philosophy. “Saint Kabir was all about the freedom of mind, heart and soul. In dance too, we are given the independence to show our emotions as well as to move around the stage. Through ‘Khud Mein Kabir, Kabir Mein Hum’, we have shown independence in the way we used the mudras, our expressions and the song (dohas),” he added. The show also included solo and group performances by master artists on the second day. Bachan, for instance, presented his solo performance (Odissi) on the life of goddess Sita. There were also two group performances. Jayaprabha Menon, a Kerala Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee, performed Mohiniyattam with her disciples and renowned dancers Ashok and Bandita Goshal performed Odissi with their disciples from Bhubaneswar. The event was graced by several prominent personalities from art, dance and theatre. Some of them included Padmashri Geeta Chandran (prolific Bharatanatyam dancer), Padmavibhusan Dr. Sonal Mansingh (Rajya Sabha member and renowned Odissi exponent), Padma Shree Shovana Narayan (Kathak exponent, Ramesh Chandra Gaur (Director, National School of Drama), SNA Awardee Geetanjali Lal (Kathak exponent), Amarendra Khatua (Former, DG, Indian Council for Cultural Relations) and Rama Pandey (author and former anchor, Doordarshan), to name a few.

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