The two artists whose works are on show at The Victoria Hall attempt to take viewers on a surreal, spiritual journey
Stepping into ‘God and Her Essence', the inaugural exhibition of The Victoria Hall, is like tumbling down the rabbit hole. There are canvases everywhere: propped up on the floor, hanging from pillars, hidden amidst the bric-a-brac of glass ornaments — and is it just me, or is that large, blue painting over there pulsating?
“That's the spiritual energy,” says artist Yogi Sunando Basu simply, staring as if I'd just asked what colour the sky was. I look again. The fringes of what seems to be a large, exotic flower throbbing gently, in a wave-like motion. “My art is what I see when I meditate,” he says. So those curling flakes scattered across the canvases aren't petals? “No. That is what prana looks like. All these paintings, they're what I see.”
I'm starting to realise that the order that reigns here is an inverted one — your eye sees movement in what your mind knows to be still, and the paintings are created and inspired by a force higher than the artist.
But this is precisely the point of this twin exhibition that shows the work of Arun Kumar Samadder as well as Basu. Presented by Voboguru, a group of spiritual artists who seek to create art that communicates on a spiritual level, the exhibition explores spiritual themes, each artist displaying his distinctive approach to it. In fact, it's quite interesting to see how different their approaches are; strangely undulating, abstract canvases emerge from Basu as he wrests form and colour from the secrets of meditation, while Samadder looks at spiritual figures such as the Buddha, or those from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, blending spiritual and mythological iconography with a slightly surreal treatment. His work is characterised by its distinctly geometric properties — the subjects taper into lines and sketches, resulting in images that look like a conflation between the rudimentary stages of an artwork and its finished product.
The exhibition expresses the artists' ongoing endeavour to express a relationship with God, drawing on both mythology and meditation, creating a colourful engagement with the mysteries of spirituality.
‘God and her Essence' is on until November 30, at the Victoria Hall, 37, TTK Road.