Indian artists at ART Singapore 2007

ART Singapore is the platform where artists and art aficionados gather to host and see new contemporary artworks, share ideas and exchange information. First ART Singapore show was held in 2000, and since then the event has become an annual affair for showcasing art. It gives art connoisseurs an opportunity to get acquainted with the new talent. Here, leading art galleries launch works by young artists.

The 2007 edition of the art fair held in October had artists and galleries from 16 countries including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and India among others. Elaborating on the motive behind the art event, an official note mentions: 'Over its seven-year run, ART Singapore, one of Southeast Asia's biggest contemporary art fairs, has established a reputation as a cutting-edge contemporary Asian art fair, where galleries take the opportunity to showcase classic artworks and launch new pieces by up-and-coming artists. The full spectrum of modern and contemporary art, including video and digital art by hundreds of artists, is represented.'

Some of the artists from India who featured at the ART Singapore this year were Rekha Rodwittiya, Surendran Nair, Debraj Goswami, Azis T.M., Chandra Bhattacharjee, Subodh Gupta, Shibu Natesan and K P Reji.

Works of artists Jagannath Paul, Pankaj Panwar, Vijay Dupatre, Prajakta Potnis, Sharmi Chaudhury and Alok Bal were also exhibited at this significant art event. Each of these artists is known for unique subject matter and style. Debraj Goswami's pieces are mostly figurative and are created with thin, fine lines.

According to the artist, his work is not an expression of an individual; it represents the feelings of an entire generation, which is living in a vacuum. In contrast to this, Chandra Bhattacharjee's canvases are languid and far removed from the urban world. Dusky men and women exist in an ethereal realm untouched by the madness of everyday city life, carrying out their daily chores whereas T.M Azis allows himself to be influenced by places around him and situations that he encounters. Simple objects and people in their vicinities rejoice in their existence by being involved in what is around.

Swinging from significant information to seemingly irrelevant motifs, Subodh Gupta's constructions weave highly eccentric imaginings with public myths and rituals. Drawing mainly from everyday objects and scenarios, his aesthetic delineates the complex inter-relations of India's urban and rural communities. It shows the effects of consumerism and the modernization of traditional Indian society.

There is a simulation which resembles the original to a startling degree in Shibu Natesan's work that in fact, prompts a set of readings which are contrary to what was intended, thus displacing the meaning without significantly altering it's appearance. Surendran Nair's paintings are often mischievous, ironic and quizzical as they inject a gentle surrealism into prevailing notions of reality. As if recycling traditions from a cultural encyclopedia, he meticulously constructs a web of images - mythic, modern, classical and mundane - growing out of the body of cosmic man.

Apparently simple, K P Reji's paintings are multifaceted and complex in their analysis of an individual's relationship to his external environment. Often political in inflection, his canvases explore the connection between psychological states of mind and socio-political behavior. The artist creates metaphors, deeply rooted in his surroundings. In fact, his works have a very specific cultural and local inspirational background. Prajakta Potnis's works reflect an innocent childlike penchant for dreaming, with movement slowed down and objects held in long scrutiny, as well as its improbable logic of surprise.

The facets of the oeuvres of all these talented Indian artists were well evident at the ART Singapore 2007.

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