Panda has steadily constructed a language of alienation that is contained paradoxically within images of settlement. In small or large format, he works through the positioning of opposites, of the enforcing of structures and the evacuation of life forms, of mythic cycles and contemporary time, of value and its imminent loss.
(G. Sinha, Recent works by Jagannath Panda, exhibition catalogue, Berkeley Square Gallery, London, June 2006)
Jagannath Panda (B. 1970) a resident of New Delhi's fast-growing city of Gurgaon, deals with issues of migration and urbanization. Born to a family of priests, the artist's choice of imagery reflects his ideas of hybridity as in Love Terrace II (lot 23) where two mythical gods clad in traditional garb embrace on the roof a multi-storied apartment, surrounded by construction sites. Issues of tradition/modernity, privacy/publicity, movement/stillness are brought to the fore as the viewer is reminded of Panda's own feelings of displacement in the ever-expanding and at times alienating city.
Similarly in Untitled (lot 24) the artist gives complex symbolic structure to what is otherwise an ordinary interior, rendered in a distinctly Surrealist manner. The wood grain on each door re-presents Nature tamed, as do the orderly leaves folded and attached to a string over the door on the right. Butterflies similarly appear out of place, deceptively free within this urbane and paradoxical interior setting. This seemingly enchanted atmosphere, disturbed by the unwelcoming "MOVE OUT" emblazoned on the left door, reflects the contradictory reality of life in the city.