An illusion with shapes

Moksha Kumar’s desire to sustain a mysterious aura and her love for architecture reflects in Phantasm

Updated - July 09, 2015 08:57 pm IST

Published - July 09, 2015 08:56 pm IST - Hyderabad:

A painting by Moksha Kumar

A painting by Moksha Kumar

Taking a year off after earning her bachelor of arts abroad helped Moksha Kumar realise her identity. Through her display, Phantasm, she is desirous of a mysterious aura, much like the illusionary title, while dealing with shapes and staircases much. Her liking for geometry began early — she was three then, when her mother pushed her to join art classes in Calcutta.

The love for water colours deepened in Chennai. As you take a glance at the paintings, her love for architecture and origami too shows up. “It’s an inspiration I borrowed from a book that I read of a Hiroshima-Nagasaki victim, who was suffering from leukaemia. She practiced origami on a daily basis, specifically making thousands of cranes, out of all the papers at her disposal, which according to a fable she read, would help her escape death,” responds Moksha who was enamoured by her spirit, even if it was for a lost cause.

She has taken references from Vaastu Shastra in the meanwhile, while being enchanted about the propriety and the usage of light in structures including mosques, skyscrapers like Dubai’s Bhurj E Khalifa kissing the stratosphere and also ancient monuments, particularly elaborating on the use of marble in Taj Mahal.

The opportunity for her display to materialise in the city only struck three months earlier. Was the lack of time an issue? “I believe I need to make the best of the chances I’m offered. Besides my college friends and mentors, this gallery has helped me reach out to established artistes in the scene. It made me take applause and criticism in my own stride,” replies Moksha, who makes a written record of the comments she gets over time to analyse her progress.

Making interesting comparisons between architecture and art, she quips, “While the former is planned, the latter revels in being unplanned. Rules don’t peep into paintings as much as architecture. Structures are more graphic, accurate. The freedom that art provides though is matchless.”

Even as she labels her interest to experiment with white and black colours more, considering the contrast they add to a work besides the obvious metaphors they suggest, she made it a point to expand her palette and take an expressionist turn. “I realised people respond to diversified hues and activity on a canvas. Yet I haven’t gone overboard and stuck to gold, green, purple, red and yellow,” she adds.

Comfortable with acrylic as of now, she realises the need to spend more time on oil pastel paintings to attain good control.

She makes timely visits to other galleries to get insights from her counterparts too. Her western inspirations including C M Russell, Kurt Weiser, Diana Al-Hadid and Paul Cézanne outnumber the Indian ones like Jitish Kallat, Bharati Kher and A Ramachandran. Phantasm is on at Kalakriti Art Gallery till July 16.

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