By Charbak Dipta:
In every film or books that involve aliens, it is shown that the aliens are always very interested in landing in USA or in some European country. I find it ridiculous. How do they know that this is the most powerful country on earth, so let’s land here and this is a third world nation, so let’s avoid it! In a short story by Satyajit Ray, an alien space ship landed in a remote Bengal village and the alien befriended a village school teacher. My thought process behind this series started from that story. I just turned the whole concept upside down by injecting Indian sentiments into aliens on their own planets!
‘Indian Aliens’, as I call this series, is about a parallel alien world in a distant planet somewhere in space. The artworks portray how these aliens are mimicking human cultures and more specifically, the Indian culture. They are all aliens, yet Indian in a uniqueÂ way. You can consider this my way of spoofing the Indian culture. Throughout the series, I have chosen various quirky Indian themes, while mixing them with aliens in different planet backgrounds.
The inspiration came from Plato’s theory of Ideas which says that there are ideas of everything that isÂ eternal. The earthly things are only a copy of those ideas. Similarly, I imagined that somewhere in the universe there is a parallel world and everything we do or things that happen in this world are just a copy of that Alien world.
Thus for the artwork called Alien Babu, I borrowed the Babu culture that flourished in 18th century colonial Bengal. The Babus’ affection for girls, alcohol and fish are portrayed here.
Again, I always found the timeless Indian classical love story of Radha Krishna and their ‘Rasleela’ is Vrindavan very interesting. I thought about the rasleela of Radha Krishna taking place in some planet, galaxies away, and thus Alien Rasleela came up.
Similarly, I picked up various Indian themes like an Alien incarnation of 17th century Lalon Fakir Shah from Bangladesh, of the classic song Ei Poth Jodi Na Sesh Hoy from a Bengali film starring Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen, of RGV Ki Aag where the alien RGV is putting all his film rolls into the ‘Aag’ in frustration, an alien selfie from of the Taj, and more.
I have also started experimenting with some international themes. Here are 3 additional artworks from the international series.