Phantasms of the Real and Other: An Artistic Exploration by Seven Young Painters from Kerala

Detail from “Spy” by Aneesh V. Acrylic on canvas 2012

This group show by upcoming young artists from Kerala titled Phantasm, How Real and Other is on at DH Art Centre Kochi from 27 to 31 October 2012.  Aneesh V from Kollam, Harikrishnan B from Trivandrum, Jos Martin L X from Kochi, Kiran Jacob from Kottayam, Remya R S from Trivandrum, Sandeep S Babu from Kottayam and Shyne K from Kottayam are showing their latest works in Acrylic and mixed media.  Some illuminating installations are also on show.

From Aneesh V’s Untitled Work. Water Color on Paper with LED lights 2012

This young group of artists explore the phantasms of the real and other in our contexts of visual realities.  They make visible the illusory and the volatile in our daily junctures and struggles of life and art.  The hyper realities and simulations of lived experiences and affects are also rendered on canvas by these inquisitive visual skeptics. The young artists keen sense of contemporary life and the world is remarkable and sophisticated in its visual dexterity.

“Survival Series” by Shyne K. Acrylic and charcoal on tea-wash paper 2012

Their sense of cultural traditions and critique of the past and the present seem to be futuristic. They are furthering the art and politics of representation in a tumultuous time in Kerala which is facing unprecedented socio economic and cultural changes especially in the contexts of economic and cultural globalizations, contemporary debates on development and environmental catastrophes.

Detail from Kiran Jacob’s work. Charcoal and Water Color on Paper 2012

The aesthetically nuanced works by Aneesh V , Jos Martin, Kiran Jacob, Remya R S and Shyne K are really moving and contemporary in its details and significations.  They are articulating and reflecting the complexity and dynamism of reality in a changing world from within the cultural choreography of Kerala.  It is interesting to see such young people creatively responding to the political and aesthetic transformation of their time in their intimate medium in charcoal, acrylic and mixed media.  Their touch of ingenuity and sensitivity to new micro political realities like ecology, gender, sexuality, region, religion  and caste are highly commendable.  I wish them all the very best in their future visual voyages.

ajay sekher  27 Oct 2012

From their catalog: Details of the young artists behind Phantasm

Varnasala: Youth for Art and Culture

With the young artists of Nirmala College, Muvattupuzha. Sept. 23, 2011

‘Varnasala’ is forum for art at Nirmala College, Muvattupuzha.  It is a rare platform for art and culture that is exclusively committed to the creative development of the young students.  They conduct art workshops and exhibitions on a regular basis.  My friend Dr P B Sanish, Assistant Professor of Sanskrit; who is currently leading the forum, invited me to inaugurate the activities for the academic year 2011-12.

On contemporary art and culture. Seated from left: Dr Sanish, Res. Principal, Prof. Krishnan Namputhiri

They organized a day long workshop cum exhibition for the young creative minds of the college.  Students displayed their works.  There were interesting drawings and Portraits on show.  I was given the honor of inaugurating the event in the presence of the principal and other dignitaries on the morning of 23rd September 2011.

On the ethics and politics of art and the importance of art education

I talked about the importance of art in the contemporary society and opened the event by drawing a picture entitled “Christ-buddha” which is a combination of the images of these two historical personalities who signify ethics and change in a radical and liberating way.

Inaugurating Varnasala by drawing a picture "Christ-buddha"

In the after noon we had an engaging and active session of interaction regarding art, art education and the politics and ethics of art in a complex and changing world with the illuminating young minds.  I found the students incredibly creative and active and capable of producing works of meaningful art in the future.  I am grateful to them as I learn a lot from them.I also got a chance to briefly meet my old and new friends in the college like Fr Vincent, Dr Beena, Dr Rani, Artist Chris…  Let me thank the college and the organizers for inviting me to this significant creative event. I am sure that the interest and investment in culture would produce fruits in the future.