Muktinath Mondal studied Painting at Indira Kala Sangeet
Viswavidyalaya, Chattisgarh (BFA, 2005) and at the University
of Hyderabad, (MFA, 2007). His works have been selected for
participation in several prestigious and curated group shows
in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Nagpur, Bhopal, Hyderabad,
Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Baroda in India, and in
Shanghai (Shanghai Art Fair, 2012), and Seoul, Korea. He has also
shown in the ‘Games People Play’ exhibition at Artcore, UK in
My work draws from a Bengali fable quite popular in rural Bengal.
It is called, ‘Bagher Biye’ and tells the tale of the marriage of a tiger.
(The Royal Bengal Tigers are found in the marshy Sunderbans and
often wander into human habitats. They are extremely feared.)
The fable talks of how the village folk lure a tiger bothering them
into the village with the promise of marrying him off and lead
him to jump in the village well! In rural India, life starts revolving
around the well from dawn to dusk. That is because the well is
often the only source of drinking water. It is an integral part of the
village life. To signify this tremendous importance of water/well,
I have portrayed the well like a temple. These characteristics are
very much part of my work and I use them to glorify the mundane
objects which are often considered insignificant. In a way, I want to
build a connection between the ‘mythic’ folkloric imagination (fear
of the tiger) with the present ‘real’ issue of scarcity of water.