Riyas Komu’s “FAITH accompli”

The recent works 'FAITh accompli' by artist Riyas Komu are currently on view at Sakshi Gallery. In the new exhibition, on ' FAITH accompli ', he has brought a profusion of his cultural background into these works. The title of the show, Faith Accompli, is a twist of the French Fait Accompli, which means the acceptance of a situation or deed without question. It puts a question mark over this blind faith.

Explaining his thought processes that have resulted in the show, he mentions: "Try saying art is a passionate journey a hundred times it does not become a clich'. If you have not been through that intense ritual you will never know how spiritual and at the same time, abrasive it can be. It cannot get more meditative and simultaneously, chaotic for the subjects you are handling, as an artist are as complex as religion, ideology and faith. The riot-torn streets, arms; I consumed all these, in the process of this work.'

Riyas Komu, one of India's most promising young contemporary artists, received his Masters degree In Fine Arts from Sir J.J. College of Art. He has exhibited in many prestigious shows and venues since 1998 and won accolades for his work. The artist has extended himself to sculpture, photography and video installations. He paints pictures based on photographic references from the print and television media. His randomly chosen subjects are charged with significance bringing about a disturbance depicting an element of political disquiet.

He adapts images culled from the flow of the mass media, transporting them into the pictorial space of painting and its anterior histories of representation. As part of the current exhibition, he has put up a 22-foot wide 12-foot high, wooden sculpture, which resembles a large boat. According to him, it's a spiritual structure created by a collection of precariously balanced wooden edifices, a metaphor for a cluster of collective religious beliefs.

He elaborates to say, "The steps leading up to a balcony reinforces a distanced point of view, something that is essential for an analytical understanding.' In this new set of works, Riyas Komu approaches the questions attached with religion and faith in a vigorous, forceful way. The works are interactive in a sense that the viewers can 'climb' the steps and view the exhibit from atop the structure.

The deck of the 'ship' comprises little wooden houses and motifs, such as, the cross, the worker's sickle and hammer, the crescent moon, and the Star of David. The artist makes an honest attempt to question illogical rituals and religious practices through a set of works like works like Lost resonance, Keep Cooking, Magic Landscape and The Third Day.

The artist wants to raise a query whether we have forgotten the human values and virtues of compassion and brotherhood in a quest to establish religious supremacy For example, in one of the works, the artist makes an attempt to create a pun by embedding the cross in a structure that is derived from the carpenter's tool. Since Joseph was a carpenter and Christ also learnt carpentry it is ironic that it was a wooden cross on which he was crucified," he points out.

Summing up the spirit of the show, he quips: 'I salute the ubiquity of the power of prayer, which helps you transcend mere beliefs and repetitive ideologies. I want to pray for the greats who journeyed seeking tranquility and walked along with history's sorrows and blunders, unperturbed, with their heads held high in silence that transcends the mere silence."

A new solo show titled 'FAITh accompli ' by artist Riyas Komu continues at Skshi Gallery till On till May 7, 2006.

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