Two Solos: Lee Hayan, Sabir Ali at Sakshi Gallery, is an exhibition showcasing the works for two upcoming, promising talents whose artworks interweave different cultures, ideologies and modern elements, in order to have them ricochet off each other. Lee Hayan is a South Korean artist who is studying art at an Artist’s Residency in Baroda, while Sabir Ali works in Santiniketan. The two borrow themes and elements from a gamut of genres – music, art, literature and translate them into their own contemporary, visual narratives. The intention of the artists then, is to make us think. Deeply layered with metaphors and meanings, the artistic creations hold a magnifying glass on contemporary society.
We speak to the two artists…
Your first memory of art? There are many memories related to art from my childhood. Perhaps seeing my father paint and going to local exhibitions in the town of Pyoungtaek are among the most precious.
Your artwork juxtaposes and weaves different ideologies, cultures, sub-genres, etc. Where does this thought process come from? In holding a curiosity for information and observations, inside my head I collect a multitude of ideas that translate to form concepts within my work. I find storytelling quite fascinating. Inventing through existing stories, splicing and conjoining – my tapestry holds an unending space for narratives to unfold. Mythology and legends, art history and biographies all collude to become material that feeds my ideas.
What do you wish to communicate through your work? As a young artist, I hope that I am able to negotiate my own truth and find the motivation to be accountable to my own conscience. In doing this I believe I will hopefully create a space of communication within my art that is meaningful.
What is your first memory of art? When I was in school, walking everyday on my way back from school, I used to pass an old roadside book store which used to keep a second hand magazine called The Great Artists. Though the cost of it at that time was only Rs. 30, it was quiet expensive for me. So I collected some pocket money and eventually bought it. At night, when everybody would be asleep at home, I used to go through the pages, observing every detail of the artwork for hours. I would get lost in the art, as if I was roaming inside the artist’s mind. I remember sketching a few artworks too. Donatello Brunelleschi, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Giotto, Buonarroti – they were my childhood heroes.
Your artwork juxtaposes and weaves different ideologies, cultures, sub-genres, etc. Where does this thought process come from? We live in a postmodern world (if you’d like to believe) where the whole of history is crunched, and any representation of the present conditions will have to call for a new inventory of images that will have to be culled either from the past or our physical surroundings, or from mediatic or virtual worlds, and finally even from our subconscious.
As I never try to follow a fixed monolithic style, it was possible for me to engage in a popular dialog with the viewers through this work. I tried to exchange thoughts in a modern yet popular way, just as artists did in the past.
For me ‘reading’ something is culture specific. In addition, it is a natural phenomenon in language that there will always be some incomprehensible parts. My work incorporates and makes room for these shortcomings by looking at the larger picture, where the past and the present, and the extraordinary and the mundane are juxtaposed with each other. _
Exhibiting at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, Two Solos starts today and will continue till 10th August, 2012.