Our sense of aesthetics commodified: Devdutt Pattanaik
Kolkata : Noting that the modern-day education system is indifferent about the disappearing old art forms while our sense of aesthetics is getting increasingly commodified, writer-mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik on Wednesday said the young generation should be regularly exposed to good art.
"Each state has its own art, but I think that is getting lost and our education system doesn't care. They are so busy with the vocational training that they do not encourage the aesthetics," says Pattanaik.
"Aesthetics is commodified to the point that it is about Instagramming and selfies. It is not about a way of living," Pattanaik said at the opening of Kolkata Centre for Creativity, a multi-disciplinary interactive Art Centre.
"If you talk to NRI children, the only aesthetics they know is Bollywood. Maybe in some film art is taken from different parts of India, but nobody knows if it is coming from north India, south India, eastern India or some other state," he pointed out.
Pattanaik, best known for his mythological fictions and interpretations of ancient Indian scriptures, said even in small village houses, the wall paintings, clothes, the way of serving food or the design on the vessels are full of aesthetics.
Pattanaik along with Indian graphic novel author cum painter Amruta Patil has conceptualised a segment called 'Imagination Area" to be dedicated to children, on the second floor of the 70,000 square feet building area, where Wednesday's event was held.
Talking about the need of engaging everyone, he said, "The younger generation needs to be exposed to these ideas. In India, I feel the biggest problem is that we have lost touch with our aesthetic heritage".
The author said modern artists talk a language that young people often do not understand.
"The curator, the collector understands (the modern art) but the average people don't. I think centres like this can give some exposure," Pattanaik said.
Asked if mythology is taking the centre-stage in the current Indian scenario, the author of renowned novel 'Devlok' said, "We generally think mythology is about Gods and demons, but it is also about concepts. It is about ideas that are not found in nature. For example, equality, justice, judgement, Karma -- all are human concepts," he noted.
"No society can exist without mythologies. Science tried to prove it wrong and it brought its own mythology of giving a better life, brought various technologies and in the process, it ended up destroying nature," claimed Pattanaik.