CanIndia News – A virtual exhibition dedicated to Chintz


New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANSlife) The works of “The Porcelain Rose” are a space of madness. All flora and fauna are juxtaposed with each other in improbable and improbable combinations, in which they cannot exist. Unlike the forest which respects the natural order, the works here are full of illogicality, unreason and contradiction.

The exhibition featuring a new body of work by artist Paula Sengupta opens virtually today at “Galerie Espace” and will be on view until October 24, 2021 on the gallery’s website. It includes drawings that speak to Paula’s continued engagement with chintz, digital photo prints and animation, a medium in which she is working for the first time.

“Each work evokes a space of fantasy and inevitable madness. Much of the reptilian and cactus-like flora and fauna derive in this series from all of the previous work in “Herbaria, Hortoriums and the House”, exhibited in 2018. Observed mainly during a visit to Udawallawe National Park in Sri Lanka on a visit in October 2018, visits to Yala and Wilpattu sanctuaries in Sri Lanka, as well as another visit to Tanzania remain blocked due to the ongoing pandemic ”, notes Paula Sengupta.

“The porcelain rose” dedicated to chintz, “chintz” derived from the Hindi word “chheet” is a printed cotton textile commonly used in the Indian subcontinent. Chintz was originally a printed, painted or tinted calico produced in India from 1600 to 1800. By 1600, Portuguese and Dutch traders brought examples of Indian chintz to Europe on a small scale, but English and French merchants began to send large quantities. By 1680, over a million pieces of chintz were imported to England per year, and a similar amount went to France and the Dutch Republic.

“The porcelain rose or Etlingera elatior, a succulent plant native to regions with tropical climates, indeed sums up the essence of Sengupta’s most recent project in many ways. Native to the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, it is also found in the equatorial regions of Africa. The genus takes its name from the 18th-century German botanist Andreas Ernst Etlinger, reflecting a well-established strategy of colonial nomenclature. The interregional associations of the plant are further reinforced by the evocation of specialized porcelain pottery which is an integral part of the history of Chinese art. In addition, this flower embodies a duality: its grandiose appearance combines with the fragility of porcelain. This contradiction interspersed with interregional travels and colonial histories forms the heart of Sengupta’s business, offering common ground between organization and chaos, visuality and abstraction, fraying and camouflage ”, explains Rajarshi Sengupta, academician, practitioner and art historian in his essay on “The Porcelain Rose”.

Trained as a traditional printmaker, Paula’s repertoire as an artist includes broadsheet newspapers, artist books, artifacts, performance installations and community art projects. She works through mediums which include printmaking, textiles and embroidery, papermaking and many more.

You can view the exhibition online at

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