Rajib Deyashi paints out of an internal necessity. Though he is not expressionist in the conventional or rebellious sense, yet the term ‘internal necessity’ is very much applicable for him, as he inculcates a very enlightened sense of spirituality in the deeper layer of his consciousness, which has been developed in him since his childhood not only from his environment but also out of his encounter with the life and nature around him. He is also a theist in the religious sense. His paintings generate from that theistic spirituality. He is young, very modest and full of dream. He believes in submission to this life and to the super-consciousness that enlightens, guides and controls this life. His creations come out of the interaction with the super-consciousness and complete submission to it. Beyond the strife and conflict that constantly pollutes the day to day mundane existence; he tries to posit an alternative space in his painting through which he can communicate with his own being and the being of the nature.
His recent paintings are therefore mostly symbolic, often abstract. Very often he uses different sorts of religious and natural icons but decontextualises them from their known and conventional environment and meaning with connotations towards something super-natural. Some of his works, as we see in this exhibition, are iconic and in some he transforms the icon. The icon or the natural element is very much present. But through repeated placement of the same icon or through conglomeration of a few he constructs one or more geometrical forms assigning in them symbolic connotation, mostly of ritualistic Hindu tantrik iconography. He thus builds up a metaphor of non-objective or abstract nature that symbolizes some philosophical thought concerning the expression of super-natural power.
In most of his paintings he repeatedly uses two natural elements: one is blood-red china-rose or the flower jabaa in Bengali and the other is wood-apple leaf or bel-pata or bilwa-patra. Both these two items are considered very sacred in Hindu religious rituals. Jabaa is used in the worship of Kali or the supernatural feminine power, also known as aadyaa- shakti. Bilwa-patra is very favorite of the god Shiva.
Let us now look at one or two of such paintings to note the trend of such transformation or decontextualisation. In one, a canvas painted with acrylic colour, the background is deep dark through application of flat black colour. Against that background there are two geometrical forms, one upon the other. The lower one is constructed with repeated placement of jabaa. It takes the form of a Shive-linga, a phallus form, representing Shiva-Shakti. In the lower part of it a similar small arched form is inscribed which dazzles with internal golden light. On the top of the large Shive-linga there is a circular form made up of bilwa-patra, each of which is a unit of three leaves together. In the centre of the circle is placed a small drum or tabor, known as damaru in Bengali. Damaru is the rhythmic percussion instrument used by Shiva. The jabaa, bilwa-patra and damaru – all are natural forms. But they are decontextualised from their naturalness and bestowed with an abstract symbolic connotation implying the supernatural expression of the omnipotent power of the universe. In another painting also the background is deep-dark black. On it he inscribed linear concentric circles from smaller one at the center to larger ones towards periphery. Over these circles is placed the phonetic symbol ‘Om’ written with a Bengali vowel through repeated placement of green bilwa-patra. Om is the symbol of Bromha or supreme power, the intrinsic force of the universe.