Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Active Door, JJ Today & Tomorrow, Deception Perception and more..


Active Door
(Work by Alyssa Phoebus Mumtaz on show)
Jhaveri Contemporary Art gallery, Mumbai presents a solo show of artist Alyssa Phoebus Mumtaz. The show is titled, ‘Active Door’ and displays the symbolism replete, meditative paper works of the artist. The works on display stand at the intersection of the abstract, sacred geometry and symbolism. At times labyrinthine and at other times dominated by spatial nuances, these works attempt to bring about an equilibrium experienced in silences and communes with the self.

With a liberal reference to textile and traditional craftsmanship, the artist blends in the materialistic with the sublime, physical with the metaphysical, creating works which question at once the very fragility and the permanence of life.

Active Door is on view till 22nd March 2014.

Deceptive Perception
( Work on display)
Exhibit 320, New Delhi presents artist Sachin George Sebastian’s portrayal and allure of the metropolis, which gives false promises of a chaos free life through the structure of the urban grid. Using intricately cut and folded paper, which shows the often-overlooked fragility of civilisations  the artist tries to showcase the deceptive notion of the metropolis being a beacon of hope, and showing the metropolis's power to drain individual identities as citizens are shaped to face the needs of the urban city.

Using newspaper, the artist represents people from all backgrounds, who are all drawn to and affected by the deception of the urban dream and glossy promises of new development.

The show is on view till 1s March 2014.

JJ Today & Tomorrow
(Work on display)
Art Gate Gallery, Mumbai and The Art Affaire, jointly present a show of a group of artists titled, ‘J J Today & Tomorrow’. The show hosted by The Art Affaire, a platform for artists and art lovers alike, has brought together under one roof the works of over 40 artists along with the works of the teachers of JJ School of Art.

The participating artists are Mangesh Kapse, Manohar Rathod, Abid Shaikh, Parag Kashinath Tandel, Javed Mulani, Vijay Bondar, Javed Mulani, Manohar Rathod, Abhid Sheikh, Raman Adone and others, alongside faculty members like Anant Nikam, Douglas John, Dr Manisha Patil, Prakash Sonavane, Rajendra Patil, Vijay Sakpal, Vishwanath Sable (Dean) to name a few.

The show is on view till 3rd March 2014.

Mumbai 24
(Work by Mukhtar Kazi)
Kamalnayan Bajaj Art Gallery, Mumbai presents a show titled ‘Mumbai 24'. On display are exquisite paintings by artist Mukhtar Kazi. The artist has managed to bring out on canvas, the very essence of the never resting city of Mumbai. Capturing the heritage rich monuments and architecture, the artist has successfully portrayed the essence of an urban living with the multitude of hues, complete with its momentum and innate beauty.

The art works are rendered in several mediums, like acrylic and water colour on paper and canvas which bring out the depth and the intrinsic beauty of these age old structures.

The show is on till 1st March 2014.

(News Reports by Sushma Sabnis)

A tale of tresses
Photojournalist Oriane Zerah’s exhibition of photographs on hair has inspirations ranging from society to mythology
(Oriane Zerah with one of her photos. Photo: Thulasi Kakkat)
French artist and photojournalist Oriane Zerah claims to be a traveller first and then an artist. Her art is born out of her travels, her inspiration from a desire to share what she sees. Living in Kabul “by choice” for the past two years, this intrepid young artist is holding an exhibition of her photographs, ‘Something About Hair’, at David Hall. that will run till February 25.
There are three sides to the show that is about the long tresses of Indian women. To begin with is Oriane’s personal association with hair, followed by her experiences with hair during her travels and lastly her symbolic interpretation of hair in a social and cultural context.
As a child she remembers being taken by her mother to the salon along with her sister and being given a drastic hair cut. “It is difficult to maintain long hair for children,” reasons Oriane, who ties her slightly frizzy dark hair in a pony tail.
On her travels, especially to countries with Mughal art that fascinates her - Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India - Oriane found women covering their heads, camouflaging the hair. “Most religions want women to cover their heads and I began wondering about hair,” she says about her curiosity on a subject that has invoked religious orders. The third reason for her interest came from the symbolism she saw between hair and the Gods and Goddesses of Hindu mythology- the dreadlocks of Shiva and the lustrous hair of Kali.
Once the idea began taking shape in her mind’s eye, on her travels in Iran, Oriane began searching for models. It would be easier finding them 20 years ago because women with long hair are not so common anymore, she says.
All her models spoke about the long hair of their grandmothers. In this show Oriane worked with five models and her first was Sindhi from Kochi. She is a fisherman’s daughter and her mother was a domestic help. “I took her pictures at the roof top of a hotel in Fort Kochi four years ago. She was very friendly but when I sought her out this time, she was married and gone,” says Oriane. Her other models were from Orissa and Rajasthan. “Most of them were reluctant to show their faces,” recalls Oriane, but it was hair that she was interested in.
Her first photographs, the ones with Sindhi, are direct and straight forward. But as Oriane’s conceptualisation grows she is clearly seen drawn into the tangles of the locks. The pictures gain depth. The triptych with a model in red in front of a Banyan tree is a dramatic comparison of the aerial roots and the thick, heavy bodied hair of the model. In another, the model posed to throw back her head full of hair is comparative to an animal mane. Cascading hair like a waterfall is another comparative image that the artist draws through the aperture of her digital camera.
“I use a digital camera and overexpose my pictures,” she says about her process. Oriane learnt photography on her travels from friends and other photographers. As a freelance photographer in Kabul she works for a number of NGOs there and also for Le Monde. Oriane has also written about her travels in Pakistan in a book, Une flanuse au Pakistan. She enjoys reading poetry and Charles Baudelaire’s poem on hair is one of her inspirations.
Her Indian connection is deep, she believes. Indian classical dance drew her here. She learnt Kathak and is deeply drawn to Mohiniattam and Bharatanatyam. The hair story and India is still a work in progress for Oriane who says quite simply, “I am jealous of women with long hair, especially women from South India.” The show is hosted by Alliance Franciase de Trivandrum.
Life in Kabul
Oriane Zerah lives and works in Kabul. It’s a choice she made and hence she lives in the war torn country without fear. “Daily life is regular. I wake up and go buy bread,” she says. She adds: Being an artist in Afghanistan can be difficult as the space for art is small and for women the problem is more acute. Free expression is frowned upon, especially in the countryside. Her closest encounter with dangerous living has surprisingly been not in Afghanistan but in Peshawar in Pakistan where a bomb went off behind her.
Kabul, she says, is different in safety from the rest of the country. It is protected. But if American troops leave Afghanistan it will become dangerous once again, she feels.

(Report by Priyadershini S for The Hindu)


  1. thanx johny foir active door

  2. thanx for writnig on j j today tomarrow

  3. Mumbai 24 was an exhibition by Mukhtar Kazi, held at the Kamalnayan Bajaj Art Gallery. He started his career as a self taught artist and has recently completed his Diploma in Fine Arts. Though he is a versatile painter, his passion is doing abstract painting but he has good command over realistic work as well as all mediums right from acrylic to oil to water colour. Read more about his solo exhibition on the Kamalnayan Bajaj Art Gallery website