Cross-cultural roots and lack of identity are core themes in a new solo exhibition by Bogotá-based, Indian-born artist Antonio Puri. His collection of vivid color pieces injected with serious topics surrounding nomadic life is being presented at the Sundaram Tagore Gallery in Singapore.
It’s the first solo exhibition of the artist at the Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Singapore. For the show, he is presenting large-scale abstract paintings that have claimed their inspiration from the artist’s birthplace, Chandigarh. It’s the modernist Indian city owing its brilliance and heritage to the Swiss-French architect and designer Le Corbusier.
At first look, the paintings appear to be sensuous and spiritual, and these mixed-media masterpieces created by the artist reflect his cross-cultural experiences. The works presented were part of a major show at the Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh, India last year. The opening ceremony will be organized during the celebration of the ‘Gillman Barracks Fifth Anniversary Art After Dark’ event on September 22.
His works presented centers on themes of non-duality, Puri’s work inclines to his Eastern roots and the time he spent living in the far West. “The whole series is very much a personal journey and a fusion between two worlds: I don't just mean East and West but also between the worlds of time and timelessness, attachment and detachment,” says the painter. “I’m not so interested in identity. I’m more interested in non-identity,” he adds.
Puri enriches his tapestries with countless layers of natural pigments comprised of ink, oil, beads, and sand. The works are embedded with dreamlike constellations of symbols, grids, and maps. Through his unique method of incorporating fingerprints or the soil of Chandigarh or the henna motifs recreated from his childhood memories in the Himalayas, all his works are deeply autobiographical. His predominantly gray palette of nearly most of the works presented in the show is a nod to the monolithic concrete structures created by Le Corbusier’s in Chandigarh which is counterbalanced by fuchsia bougainvilleas that colored his childhood memories and had powerful influences on the artist growing up. Beneath the multiple layers of grey pigments, Puri creates a riot of color, which he shapes up like a volcanic eruption awaiting its blast. This process follows the gestural lines that he creates with loose pieces of strings laid down in wet paint before he drags them away during the drying process of his paintings. “I use strings as a metaphor for attachment then I remove the strings as part of my personal detachment to this world,” as the artist puts his context beautifully of a deepened process of attachment and detachment.
The show is on view from September 22 through October 29, 2017, at Sundaram Tagore Gallery Singapore, 5 Lock Road 0105, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108933.
Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the artworks.