Jagannath Panda, hails from Orissa. After finishing his studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University, Vadodara, he moved to Delhi, where he lives and works. These relocations, each time to a larger city, shaped his artistic practice both thematically and stylistically.
Jagannath Panda's multimedia works are characterised by his longstanding preoccupation with the constant tussle between urbanisation and nature, deliberately bringing the dichotomies of 'rural' and 'urban', 'natural' and 'man-made' face to face with each other. It is this sensibility that informs his work for the Mumbai International Airport, where he creates a whimsical forest amid which iconic images of the city and its people look out of place.
Spanning the topical to the mundane, animals and humans occupy his canvases as equal citizens as they frolic between disappearing forests and spreading urbanization.
Panda fuses elements from the folk art forms of Orissa with a language that spans painting, sculpture, collage, and found objects, creating his signature blend of realism and fantasy.
In his work 'Illusive Descending' for the Mumbai International Airport, Panda chose a kind of hybrid spaceship that is part udankhatola and part spacecraft. Udankhatola are mythical flying vehicles described in epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Panda drew on the illustrations of udankhatola from the traditional pata paintings he was exposed to during his formative years in Orissa.