Born in Kolkata, Susanta Mandal studied painting in Kolkata and Varanasi. Mandal has worked as artist in residence at Khoj in New Delhi, Britto in Bangladesh and Theertha in Colombo. His works have been shown in several exhibitions both in India and abroad like the India Re-worlding: Seventy Years of Investigating a Nation, Curated by Arshiya Lokhandwala, Mumbai (2017-18), Chobi Mela IX, International Festival of Photography, Bangladesh (2017), The Contemporary 2, Who Interprets the World?, 21st CMCA, Japan (2016), Making History, Colombo Art Biennale (2014), India Xianzai, 20 Indian artists show in MOCA, Shanghai, China (2009) and many more. He is also a part of the LAYOUT Artists’ Collective, which was formed in 2011 in New Delhi, India.
‘Naukar ki kameez’ is a sort of engagement with overlapping images.
Photographs turn the real, moving world into frozen experiences. Susanta played with these still images through his kinetic structures. Here, the moving lenses create a slippery zone, so that the image acquires multiple dimensions, produces fragility of images, their absence/ presence and different understanding of duration too. Here, the anecdote is from his very personal experience – “when our previous peon retired, we were looking for a new assistant for our lab. A bunch of people came and went in a year’s time and the process of looking for a peon is still on. New faces actually don’t fit well with old one, though the uniform fits perfectly well”. The work was inspired from a film of Mani Kaul, which was in turn based on the literary work of Vinod Kumar Shukla.