Ashoke Mullick (b.1957, Calcutta), completed his graduation with first class from the Government College of Art & Craft there. He was awarded the Cultural Scholarship by Department of Culture, Government of India during 1981-82. His recent solo works has been displayed at Aakriti Art Gallery, kolkata; Gallery Nvya, New Delhi; Maximasia- Jakarta, Indonesia; Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai; Galerie 88, Kolkata to name a few. His works were featured in numerous group shows across the country and abroad, some of the noted shows include ‘Art of Drawing’ curated by Shuvaprasanna Bhattacharya at Gallery Art & Soul, Mumbai; ‘Freedom’, Galerie La Mere, Kolkata; ‘Evam’, presented by The Company Theatre at Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai; ‘Vote Tumikar’, ‘Indian Surrealism’ curated by Prof. Sovam Som at Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata; ‘Digressing Domains’ curated by Sushma K Bahl presented at Nitanjali Art Gallery, New Delhi; ‘Unayan’, Nvya Art Gallery, New Delhi besides shows abroad in New York, France, Singapore, Dubai, Malaysia, Dhaka, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, Stuttgart, and Sweden.
Mullick has participated in several art camps and workshops held in various places in India, Bangladesh and Thailand. His works are a part of several individual and Institutional collections in India and abroad.
Explaining about his thought process and as a painter, Mullick notes: “As a young five years old, I am playing around in my father’s commercial studio, watching how he adds a finishing touch to a job for the advertising agency. I draw on a piece of paper and colour my drawings from his poster colours. My artistic voyage begins….”
This memory of mine has become crucial to my being able to function as a painter at all times, during periods of anxiety, creativity, and even sickness. Almost daily, my rendezvous in my studio supplies me with a structure and discipline that is sometimes pleasurable and demanding.
My taste in reading, my fascination with the subject of the book I read, feeds into my visual text surreptitiously, especially those texts that talk of the relationship between politics and aesthetics or cinema and prose fiction. Along with nuances of language, it is the city in which I live that becomes a part of my recitals laced with irony and humour.”
He further explains, “Calcutta, where I was born, has a complicated, dense web of valences that is very much a part of my growing up, gaining an identity, forming consciousness of myself and others. Its mid-summer streets, the displaced forms of departures, arrivals, farewells, exile, nostalgia, city’s changing architectures, belongings, and the indomitable spirit of the burgeoning middle-class, all of them build my painted space, which becomes a celebration of the identity as something multiple and fluid, and, in turn, creates my dissonant identity.
My works bear a style and character that stems from a desire to create a certain dimension. Whichever colour I apply emerges creatively from the roots of an underlying reality. I feel in them a physical sensation, which is why my works move towards a sculptural framework and depth. Every picture grows out of an organic and vital reaction, just like a tree growing to its full height and strength. Often my portraits of the family have a touch of fantasy and satire. Taken together they become a kind of human drama. In all this I try to sustain a touch of humour and a sense of composition. It grows into a series. Couples, fishermen, a lonely woman, a nude man, jewellery, prostitutes, mask, primitive men etc. seen in one’s childhood, all become a part of the nostalgic experience as well as the imagination, often seen in distorted forms.”