Distracted by the frenzy of today’s hyper-connected world, many of us can easily overlook the everyday incidents that encourage smiles or offer simple affirmations of life being lived.
The India-born artist N.S. Harsha, however, thrives on such observations. As his solo exhibition at the Mori Art Museum demonstrates, Harsha’s work celebrates such moments in all their wonder, ambiguity and, at times, absurdity.
“N.S. Harsha: Charming Journey” is a step forward in the Mori Art Museum’s efforts, following its 2008-9 group show “Chalo India,” to familiarize the Japanese public with contemporary art from the Indian subcontinent. With more than 75 of Harsha’s major works — mainly paintings — the exhibition provides a comprehensive introduction to the artist’s career.
A number of the pieces, such as the depiction of a bulldozer knocking over a snake charmer from the 2006 series “Charming Nation,” address the rapid social changes confronting a globalizing India today, yet they often do this with a sense of ambivalence.
Image: N.S. Harsha with his work 'Again Birth — Again Death' ('Punarapi Jananam Punarapi Maranam,' 2013). | YOSHIAKI MIURA