Summary of a fearful future knocks doors of grave reality

Fear  doesn’t seem fiercely fearful when befriended with an open heart and a rational mind, both of which artist Ranbir Kaleka has achieved after a lifetime of sporadic contemplative undertakings.

Published: 29th March 2019 07:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th March 2019 07:45 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

Fear doesn’t seem fiercely fearful when befriended with an open heart and a rational mind, both of which artist Ranbir Kaleka has achieved after a lifetime of sporadic contemplative undertakings. As times have changed, so has his relationship with this emotion. From back in his childhood when he was oblivious to it to current times when he is besieged by its overwhelming presence, Kaleka talks about it through his oldest companion — art. In his new exhibit, Fear of a New Dawn, he offers an honest, individualistic summery of sombre realities, looming gloom, and an ecosystem that actively proliferates it. 

One of the pieces from the Fear of a
New Dawn exhibit

Take for instance passive fear, one that doesn’t directly impact you but haunts you even from a distance. “One felt the fear of those far away in Gujarat in 2002. One senses the fear of the Middle Eastern refugees, or for that matter, what happened to the Sikhs in 1984,” says Kaleka, adding, “The world is becoming much smaller in terms of emotions. The pain of those suffering in a remote unknown place is also easily felt.”

You see a lot of his imageries displaying residues of hate and violence in his work. These are comments on the intolerance he sees around, not just in India but the world. All these uncertainly unsettles him, and all this is reflected in the title of the show — Fear of a New Dawn — that is suggestive of a threatening future. “One simply cannot tell what the next day holds. Of course, there is always hope but one doesn’t know when and how it’ll manifest,” says the artist, who still doesn’t taunt fear. He accepts what it has to offer. 

For most, the latter years of their life germinate an understanding of the complexities of life, but for him, it started fairly early when he was five or six. In his large haveli in Patiala, little Kaleka would have ample time to himself. He began observing intensely how family, society and the world functioned. Supplementing this were the many stories told to him emphatically by his mother and uncles. Somehow, these were always about the frailties, peculiarities and eccentricities of human life. “Through all this I began examining emotions, fear being one of them,” he says. 

From the little boy who doodled with used coal on the walls of his house to a man who has exploited the entire gamut of tools for his artistic recreation, Kaleka has shunned the idea of fear as a liability and leveraged it to create ideas for inspired living.Fear of a New Dawn: On till April 6, from 11 am to 7 pm, at Vadehra Art Gallery, D-40, Defence Colony.

Stay up to date on all the latest Delhi news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp