Artist, MIA Fair 2023 @ Nine Fish Art Gallery

Jayesh Kumar Sharma, The Lost Children of Postmodernism - Kushti 03, 2019

Digital Photography
Giclee Printing
Dimensioni / Size: 106.68 cms high x 160.02 cms
Edizione / Edition: 1/10 + 2

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As India strides exuberantly into the next decades along with the global world it carries with it its checkered local histories of marginalized peoples, cultures, practices, and rituals which are losing ground and identity, and will probably vanish forever in the next decade at most. These are ‘The Lost Children of postmodernism’ to coin a term, and their worlds need to be recorded for posterity and documented for remembrance. The curators of Nine Fish Art Gallery have been working on this theme with many artists and photographers over the last few years.

Jayesh Kumar Sharma, a young photographer, takes on two vanishing subjects and graphs the last years of their existence – ‘Kushti’ (Traditional Indian Wrestling) and ‘Leela’(Theatre of the Gods).

Sharma spent six years photographing the dwindling practitioners of Kushti, an ancient style of traditional wrestling on mud pits called ‘akhadas’. Once patronized by royalty and nobility, Kushti has a long history of almost 2,500 years in the Indian subcontinent. Now it has few takers and is gasping for survival as the lure of international style wrestling have attracted most young practitioners. The old mud arenas found almost in all villages, where generations practiced together, are all empty now. Kushti was not just a sport but a philosophy of life and the almost monastic lifestyles and disciplines that the young had to take on, are no longer attractive. These old gymnasiums, ie ‘akhadas’ are largely silent and wear a forlorn and extremely run-down look and the same look is often reflected on the faces of its last few practitioners

Jayesh Kumar Sharma

Mirzapur @ India

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Jayesh Kumar Sharma, The Lost Children of Postmodernism - Kushti 03, 2019