Moonshot is a series of works that explore ways of transporting myself to a ‘home’ that no longer physically exists. I grew up in the bustling city of Kolkata – ‘The City of Joy’ and moved to the United States in 2018. In the ‘Land of Opportunity’, I constantly missed the ‘City of Joy’. As an international student, summer breaks were the time of the year that I most eagerly awaited and most excited about- it was the only time I would visit home. But with each passing summer, the excitement seemed to gradually diminish. With every passing summer, ‘home’ started feeling a little different from that in which my dearest memories were rooted in.
As an immigrant, I have realized that the word ‘home’ has now become one that will always be within quotation marks. Although I can travel to Kolkata and be ‘home’, it is not the same place I remember growing up in, not the same place it used to be in my memories and not the same place that I so yearn to return to. In my absence, it has changed, it has moved on, and has now become a place I do not recognize.
So how does one go back to a ‘home’ that no longer exists? Through unconventional means, of course! Like hopping on the most ridiculous rickshaw or strapping oneself to a gigantic slingshot! Desperation often provides hope in the most absurd, impractical things, driven by the singular question – ‘what if?’
The works in Moonshot express that desperation, to somehow be able to transport myself back to the ‘home’ in my memories. I actively draw from imagery that I was exposed to while growing up in Kolkata such as signs and symbols on public transport, blueprints and elaborate diagrams in school textbooks, things that I would see in cartoons that I spent my childhood evenings watching and incorporate them in my works.
The playful, comical contraptions are accompanied by elaborate drawings that resemble blueprints. The drawings reflect the complexity, desperation and the wish to transport myself to this non-existing ‘home’ and the sculptures reflect the impracticality and impossibility of it.