Recently, the India Art Fair concluded its 12th annual edition at New Delhi. It showcased some of the best works by artists, sculptors, painters and photographers from India, South Asia and South-East Asia. It was a sheer pleasure for the curators of Eikowa to attend this event which was extended over a period of 4 days and bring the best of the best artworks for their patrons.
1. Bronzed the Sculpture Block: 4 prominent Indian sculptors; Thota Vaikuntam, Krishen Khanna, Jogen Chowdhury and Ram Kumar, jointly showcased their bronze sculptures at India Art Fair. The artists have given different textures to their sculptures and have painted them in vibrant colours. These iconic sculptures are absolutely stunning and are highly detailed. They are also remarkable to resemble the painting styles of these artists.
2. Bharti Kher: Bharti Kher’s art is not encapsulated in one art form. She explores and expresses her work in various forms and media including, sculptures, paintings, texts and installations. The central idea of her art revolves around attaching animal and human bodies, objects and places. Exploring the traditional misrepresentations and social taboo with her work, the artist uses typical household items and episodes from Indian mythology. She is known for creating life-size sculptures scouting the place of social norms and cultures in an individual’s life and in the society. Surrealism and narrative play a strong role in Bharti’s artwork.
3. Tallur L.N.: Tallur LN is a conceptual artist who unveils the preposterousness and anxieties of modern day lifestyle. He expresses his thoughts through sculptures, interactive works, wall pieces and site-specific installations. Living up to one’s dreams, the will to achieve the most from their own potential and to attain highest level of worthiness are the primal desires of every human being. However, what they desire or what they think of their potential may not aline with the realities of life. This discrepancy between the model self and reality is called floccinaucinihilipilification. Floccinaucinihilipilification means “a discrepancy between the actual experience of the organism and the self-picture of the individual insofar as it represents that experience.” This series by Tallur, explores the quotient of this discrepancy of this incompetence.
4. Baaraan Ijlal: The latest series by Baaran Ijlal focuses on the tragedies that took place decades ago in Bhopal, her hometown and Mumbai, the financial capital of the country. Hostile Witness, Bhopal/Iqbal Maidan/Naqqar Khana narrates the story of the ill-fated cold December night 35 years ago, when a disastrous gas leak from the Union Carbide factory resulted into a mayhem. The factory might have been shut down and the culprits might have been punished, but the people still suffer, physically, mentally and emotionally. Baaraan’s other work Hostile Witness, Esplanade Mansion/Watson’s Hotel Kala Ghoda/Bomba/Mumbai subtly nods towards the fate of Mumbaikars during the 1992 riots.
5. Raja Ravi Verma: The original painting by Raja Ravi Verma, who is believed to be the initiator of Indian modern art, took the onlookers on a trip down the memory lane. Art enthusiasts often see numerous prints of Raja Ravi Verma’s original paintings, but seeing an actual painting is an absolutely unmatched experience. The artist has painted a portrait of Lord Vishnu with his two wives; Goddess Laxmi and Goddess Bhumi sitting on His either side, all relaxing on Vishnu’s asana; Shesh Nag.
6. K S Radhakrishnan: KS Radhakrishnan who is one of the most prominent contemporary sculptor in the country showcased his bronze sculptures. Bronze has remained his chosen medium for a long time now. The major theme of Radhakrishnan’s sculptures was the male and female figurines; Maiya and Musui which illustrated the anima-animus the primary anthropomorphic archetypes. Between the various sizes of these sculptures ranging between the smaller petite ones and the life-sized ones, the artist works around the themes of migration, memory, history and nostalgia, all the while directly interacting with his spectators.
7. Ai Weiwei: Ai Weiwei is a Chinese artist and activist who works across variety of media such as sculpture, photography, film and music. His art focuses on creating a major political impact and usually has audacious proclamations about the contemporary traditions. Some of Ai’s most renowned installations hint towards the contest between the customary Chinese traditions and the modern society. At India Art Fair 2020, he showcased his iconic iron sculptures of tree roots from brazil. The artist worked with local Brazilian artisans and communities to find these giant tree roots. He used the traditional Lost Wax method to cast these monumental sculptures and later adds the details in these roots.
8. Bowl by Sang-min LEE: LEE is an interdisciplinary artist who creates his art using a variety of tools, materials and found objects around him. He often uses resin or engraves plate glass to create distinct artwork. What seems like a simple bowl is actually a unique concept that creates interesting patterns under light. If the onlookers move a constant ray of light from top to bottom or from one side of the frame to another, they can observe water ripples moving in the glass bowl in different directions. The beauty of this artwork lies in the fact that the bowl does not contain any water, the ripple effect is created by the way in which the glass is carved.
9. Vijay Pichumani: Renowned for printmaking and sculptures carved out of large wood blocks, Vijay Pichumani’s art is primarily autobiographical. His artwork is inspired from the things he observes and the incidents that occur in his daily life. In his latest series, the artist explores the movement and sensation of sound through lines. With his art, Pichumani makes the sound waves more tangible and as easy to see as they are to feel. After graduating, Pichumani spent a few years learning about the nature and elements that are not visible to the naked eye.
10. Mrinalini Mukherjee: Well-known for her distinct artwork and unconventional media, Mrinalini Mukherjee is a prominent Indian sculptor. She uses dyed and woven hemp fibre to create her life-sized sculptures which are unique on their own in texture, style and presentation. Even though, Mukherjee majored in mural painting, a fateful rendezvous with the local craftspeople encouraged her to try jute and hemp fibers, after which she started making wall-hangings, which gradually turned into using these material to make stunning and exclusive sculptures.
11. Waswo x waswo: A traveller, a poet and a photographer, Waswo X. Waswo is renowned for his Indian landscape photographs. His spectators instantly engage with his work, but those who know him, try to find the deeper meaning through the different layers of his work. The artist collaborates with local Indian artists, to give his work a new dimension. Hand-painted digital prints, autobiographical picture-story are some of his main collaboration works.
12. Abhijit Pathak: Abhijit is an Indian abstract artist who works with mixed media. He integrates his drawings with paper, cloth and collage. The artists uses his collages to give a physical form to his inner feelings. Over a period of time, the change in his location has transformed his art from more spiritual to more physical and psychological. He believes that abstract artwork can be created independent from its visual reference. He says, “The beauty of abstraction is that it is open to interpretation. If you look, you will find your story.
13. Soma Das: Soma uses rustic colours and pictorial form of Indian miniature art form to depict her paintings. Unlike the traditional miniature art, Soma’s characters are more whimsical and would remind the onlookers of various caricatures. Her subjects who have contrasting colours compared to the background, portray the daily life of urban citizens. Her artwork is full of satire and wit and her subjects, who seem modern are deeply rooted to their culture and values.
14. G R Iranna: G R Iranna is a multifaceted artist who works across multiple disciplines including painting and sculptures. Iranna gradually moved from paintings to sculptures as he was longing to add a new dimension, he wanted to express his art in a more physical form. His art is close to post-modernism and is very philosophical in nature. Often, the artist would turn the socio-political scenario around him into thought-provoking sculptures.
15. Hwang Sun Tae: Hwang art is similar to a light box. The artist instead of using layers of papers, uses layers of printed and etched glass sheets. He recreates clean, well-kept contemporary rooms of houses. The LED light that illuminate these boxes recreate the effect of sunlight entering these rooms, casting the play of light and shadow on the floors, tables and other objects neatly placed in the room. These light rays and the view of foliage out of the doors and windows are the only things that add a hint of colours to these otherwise monochromatic artworks, as if the artist is comparing the life inside the rooms, dull and monochromatic and the one outside, interesting and adventurous.