Shedding lights on proscenium, light design and space

Posted by Kaahon Desk On October 16, 2016

Veteran light designer Deepak Mukherjee, renowned for his collaborations with Arun Mukhopadhyay among other productions, speaks candidly about his work, career and his thoughts and ideas on light designing in general. One of the things he is deeply critical about is the predominant tendency of blindly following a given set of practices and not going against the grain, in technicalities or in ideas. He talks about the importance of Tapas Sen and his works which redeemed the very idea of light designing in Bengali theatre from its functional role. Mukherjee himself however strictly avoided following his footsteps, despite recognizing his immense contribution. This had often led him into unchartered creative territories and produced exciting and unexpected results which have been greatly appreciated. He looks back at the European tradition in our theatre, not so much in form but in terms of logistics and application of lights. He sounds vehemently opposed to the idea of fixed light positions since the idea is contrary to the notion of change. Deepak Mukherjee strongly believes in the axiom that change is the only truth about life. And his designs in light reflect it. His lights become bright or dim, they shift to the top or move to the back, according to the demands of the narrative, scenario or the character. He emphasizes that while designing lights, his priority has always been the space and the character instead of merely lighting things up. He gives a few examples of his innovative approach in acclaimed and popular productions like ‘Jagannath’, ‘Teesta Paarer Brittanto’ or ‘Mephisto’. He is disappointed and annoyed with the current state of affairs on Bengali stage, which reflect no intellect or creativity. He even goes to the extent of saying that a majority of those who are designing lights in theatre, are not even qualified enough to be a light technician in the first place!

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