Collective Intent: of Japanese styles, terror and grasshoppers (Weekly Art Column, Rainbow Palette, With Images)

February 13th, 2009 - 11:43 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) As many as 25 artists are displaying their “collective” strength at Gallery Alternatives, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, in a show titled Collective Intent - IV.

The exhibition, which began Feb 9 at the gallery in Gurgaon, adjacent to the national capital, will close Feb 28.

The artists whose works are on display include S.H. Raza, Krishen Khanna, Himmat Shah, Manu Parekh, Rajeev Lochan, Sanjay Bhattacharya, G.R. Iranna, Ranjeeta Kant, B. Bodh, Trupti Patel, Krishna Murari, Narendra Pal Singh, Kunal, Mridul Chandra, Nandita Chaudhuri, Kitty Hazuria, Shalini Saran, Sunaina Bhalla, Tapas Biswas, Kosal Kumar, Viky Arya, Karan Khanna, Sanjay Singh, Kavita Jaiswal and Ashwani Kumar Prithviwasi.

The works, a mix of the old and the new, are mostly in acrylic and oil. However, the artist that gallery owner Manu Dosaj has turned the spotlight on for her anniversary show is Singapore-based non-resident Indian Sunaina Bhalla.

A textile artist by education, Bhalla has lived in India, Singapore and Japan, where she has trained in Nihonga, the traditional arts of Japan.

The crossover of cultures and styles can be seen in Sunaina’s paintings, which combine traditional Indian motifs with the serenity and quest for beauty and spiritual expression in traditional Japanese painting.

“I try to adapt contemporary Indian motifs in the Japanese style and try to work on styles from Japan to suit the Indian artistic canvas,” the artist told IANS.

Sunaina, who has trained under Ohta Sensei, a reputed teacher of Japanese arts, was a designer with Satya Paul, the sari designer, before embarking on art full time.

Collective Intent is Bhalla’s first group. “I have exhibited a couple of times earlier in Mumbai and in Tokyo,” she said. Now she is preparing for a show with Dosaj in September.

According to the gallery owner, the price started at Rs.20,000 and went up to Rs.3.6 million for an S.H. Raza. Dosaj will turn her attention to young artist Rahul Sikri for her new show.


Terror art

Delhi-based artist and sculptor Ram Bali Chauhan’s new show, “Horror of Islands”, is about terrorism and the trail of wounds that it leaves in its aftermath and a commentary on the socio-political realities of our times.

He portrays the troubled times by using visual references like people passing through the metal detectors in his sculpture “Metal Detector” and uses the device as a symbol to explore the social psyche, which is conditioned by the checks and balances brought about by the terrorist strikes and the fear of sudden death.

His exhibition, which begins at the The Stainless Gallery Feb 11 and then moves to The Mint, experiments with raw images of terrorism through both solid and canvas art.

Chauhan, a graduate from the New Delhi College of Art, has developed a unique artistic language that prompts the viewer to react. He plays with lines and forms, metals and colours as well as humans and animals in his work.

He is the recipient of the 12th Yuva Mahotsava Award and the Sahitya Kala Parishad award in 2003.


Pests, but cute

Mumbai-based Bhavna Sonwane likes to paint insects in light gold, orange, yellow and green. The student of the J.J. School of Art and the L.S. Raheja School of Art in Mumbai is showing her collection of trees and insects in an exhibition titled “Between the Lines”, brought by the Apparao Gallery to the Triveni Kala Kendra here.

Though a bit immature, her works bring out her flair for delicate lines and a serenity beyond her years.

Her grasshoppers, beetles and ladybirds in acrylic are youthful and playful - which light up her otherwise muted canvases with humour.

The large format frames - mostly 72 inches X 72 inches - play with space and lines, which flow like creepers across the space, especially in her series titled “Trees”.

It is a quest for the little delights of nature in the jungle of invading concrete.

(Madhusree Chatterjee can be contacted at

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