For the past few months, since Covid-19 took over our lives, Chandigarh-based artist Subhash Shorey has participated in more than 15 national and international exhibitions, with his work focused on the impact of the pandemic on the world. Shorey has experimented with a blend of performance, photography and digital mediums to highlight the turmoil people are facing, as part of an on-going performance series, ‘King Corona Rules the World’.
Every artist, he believes, wishes to express his or her feelings and thoughts whenever the world is facing a challenge. The loss of lives, due to the pandemic, he says, has distressed him beyond words, and he is using self images to depict the varied issues and initiate a dialogue with the viewer.
“Bright coloured cloth is used to show the happiness of human beings and the beauty of this world. Black cloth is used to highlight the issue of coronavirus, which is destroying life and its beauty. Ironically, to protect ourselves and others, we have to be distant from each other. In some works, I use my own image, holding the globe as protection from the virus and stand or sit in a marked area. As an artist I am also responsible for making others aware of the measures we need to take to fight this virus. I cannot make medicine, I can only pray for the betterment of the world. This series is dedicated to all those warriors who are helping human beings and saving their lives. I am sure the world will overcome this turmoil by being together,” says Shorey.
The use of different mediums, reflects the artist and was not intentional. Shorey describes it as an automatic creative process, as he accepts every medium which comes his way to explore his inner self.
Shorey’s previous performances highlight the issues of terrorism, fake currency, black money and in this series, he looks at the virus as a biological weapon, which becomes the king and begins to rule the world. “This series is not for any aesthetic purposes, but to highlight the pain and anxiety of humanity. In one performance, I have marked circles on the road to assert the fact that we need to adhere to all rules to save lives. I have also created videos of these performances for spreading awareness. My performance represents an actor in me,” adds the actor, whose series ‘Inspiration from Isolation’ is a blend of installation, photography and cloth.
Art, reflects Shorey, is not only an expression but it has also a power to heal the world and provides solace to the mind. “In these times, the entire art community has come together to make a difference and spread awareness,” sums up the artist.