The sizes of their works might not match but both Shinobu Mikami and Ganesh Selvvaraj's canvases depict personal experiences.
Seven Art Limited Gallery brought together the very different, but equally powerful works of two artists, the Chennai-based painter Ganesh Selvaraj and Baroda-based sculptor Shinobu Mikami in the exhibition aptly titled, ‘Two Positions”. Mikami, born in 1980 in Okayama, Japan, is currently finishing her MA in sculpture at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Vadodara. She has also studied at the Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, Paris. Her work uses a wide variety of media, and the sheer simplicity and starkness of the pieces make a strong impression on the viewer. The strokes in her canvases are delicate and have a wispy, ethereal quality, almost poetic in their vocabulary. The sketches and paintings, as well as the installations, seem to be centred on the specificity of the materials she uses – wood, fabric, language and drawings – and the experiential memory embedded into these materials and forms.
Small and stark
Mikami's work is her own translation and personal interpretation of the world. She doesn't use bright, strong colours, concentrating on an almost washed out water colour blue, as well as light but clear oranges. The works are highly conceptual in nature, having a barely there sort of feel to them, and it is obvious that the artist has left it to the audience to complete them with their own experiences and memories. While Mikami's canvases are small and stark, Selvaraj makes large, abstract paintings using bright, often contrasting colours.
Selvaraj was born in 1976 in Chennai. He completed his Masters in Fine Arts, specialising in painting from the Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai. He has also studied printmaking at Edinburgh Printmakers in the UK. He has been part of numerous group exhibitions in both India and abroad. Though his paintings are larger and more imposing than that of Mikami, they too speak of different perceptions and personal experiences.
Selvaraj used mixed media on canvas, using the concept of infinity, his own interpretation of the world and personal experiences to create huge and striking paintings. The canvases are carefully crafted, using intricately placed shreds of coloured paper that stand out and give a tactile quality to the painting. Influenced by the Tantric style of painting that was introduced in Chennai in the 1960s and ‘70s, Selvaraj explores the process of being and of making in his paintings. He mostly uses a combination of pale yellows, whites and greys mixed with more vibrant colours, painting rounded essential shapes and dimensions, forms like ovals to symbolise beginnings and centres. The canvases, though abstract, seem almost alive with a sort of energy, reflecting upon and mirroring a range of human emotions.
Keywords: art exhibition