Artistic Enlightenment at the Art Gallery of Ion Orchard!


Artist : Harshini

Artistic expression takes its form in a myriad of ways extolling the artistic and imaginative capabilities of the artist as well as the observer. It instils pleasure, interest and appraisal from the art enthusiast or even the casual observer. Art as propelled by personal interest conveys a message which is left to the perceiver to interpret. It engenders and sets in motion or stimulates our thoughts, emotions and beliefs.

This was exactly what the exhibition by Gnani Arts on the theme: The Enlightened One Images of Gautama Buddha in Contemporary Arts, did for the artistically inclined. 25 artistes from Singapore, Cambodia, India, Sweden and Sri Lanka showcased their art. Each artist had exhibited two art pieces at the exhibition.

Skills of execution and the technicalities involved, which form inseparable parts of the art and applied extensively and ingeniously by artists help to enhance the appreciation from the art lovers.  Each artist has comfortable zones in the medium they use yet some did mention they would love to venture and explore and experiment with different mediums. Talking to some of the artists involved…

J Kalidass a prominent artist of Singapore who also teaches art, mentioned he generally uses oil on canvas or oil on linen. Harshini Sudarshan who too loves working with oil paints quickly added, “I also like to explore different mediums and textures.” Sheena Bharathan stated, “I experiment with textures and use it to intensify the character of my paintings.”

Gauri Gupta mentioned, “I have done Tanjore, glass, acrylic and mixed media”. And Jaleela Niaz explained, “I use mixed medium of acrylic paints and varnish and clay to create a 3-D effect in my paintings.

Enlightment in Budha Chakras- Paining by Artist Lakshmy Iyer

Regarding the themes, though here the theme was about Buddha the various artists had beautifully woven in their distinctive style and imaginative ideas and interpretations. Ika Forssell‘s picture ‘Listen to your soul’ had Buddha wearing ear phones, about  getting enlightened listening to your inner self; Lakshmy Iyer had used geometrical figures such as mandals, yantras, kolams and kalams in her painting; Anila Ayilliath gave importance to space technology and its relevance in today’s world; Alpana Ahuja brought out her love for animals and her favourite theme ‘Elephants’ ; Harshini’s was on Stone images;  Sheena  in her picture ‘The Enlightened One’- tried to depict Lord Buddha in the sublime state of nirvana and so on.

The pictures did catch the attention of art lovers and collectors as Jallela Niaz happily exclaimed even as the inauguration was in progress that her two pictures have been sold.

Artist Jaleela

And regarding the time taken to do a painting some replies… “My paintings usually take a few weeks to a month or so, because I work on a great amount of details,” Kalidass and Sheena:The two particular paintings took me about a month to conceptualize and complete.”

And how do they draw their inspiration? External and internal forces work in unison… for Kalidass, “It is mostly from first-hand observation from my travels, I do google for images and I modify them according to my style.”

The exhibition was organised by Gnani Arts. The Gallery of Gnani Arts has been a local and regional trend-setter within its area of research, curation and collection expertise especially of South Indian contemporary art by masters and international artists. It was founded in 2003 by the dynamic couple Mr P. Gnana & Ms Vidhya Gnana Gouresan both graduates from the LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore.

Apart from curating and marketing its primary collection of art by masters and senior artists, the Gallery also helps to launch the careers of selective artists from Singapore and from other parts of the globe.

Touched by the Divine : Kalidass

Vidhya who curates their various exhibitions explained her role as a curator, “I conceptualise the specific thematic focus of the exhibition; create a creative context which has to be both artist-centric and market-centric; select the artists in accordance with this focus; formalise, design and write all PR matter such as the press release, the curatorial essay, the banners, information on the artists; liaise with the press and media; communicate with all artists; and the list continues.”

Anil Kumar, one of the main coordinators of ‘Varnam’ painting exhibition organised by Singapore Malayalee Association, who attended this exhibition stated, “It is a well-conceived and well-received theme based exhibition. It gives a great opportunity for artists to show their ability on a larger platform. Getting an exposure at the right time and right place is most important for a developing artist.”

The exhibition was held at Ion Art Gallery from 18-24 May 2015.