THE recently ended Winds of Desire art exhibition was a visual treat for audiences who got to feast their eyes on rich art works from a pool of 13 Malaysian artists of Indian and Sri Lankan origin.
These artists are established in their own right but have never come togethere for an exhibition until now.
Curator Sivarajah Natarajan, who is also an artist, said there had not been an opportunity to bring the artists together for an exhibition before this.
“There has to be a body or gallery to represent these artists and I approached the Sutra Foundation, where I am also a trustee, to help organise the exhibition,” said Sivarajah at the Annexe Gallery in Central Market, Kuala Lumpur.
He said the gallery was spacious enough to be able to accommodate all the artists and their works.
He added that the artists had also contibuted equally to rent the premises for the show and produce the catalogue.
“We hope to provide a platform for these rich talents and to continuously compile a history of local Indian and Sri Lankan artists for future archives,” he added.
Syed Thajuddeen Shaik Abu Talib, one of the 13 artists, presented his distinctive, colourful and vibrant pieces of women in kebaya.
“I’ve been a figurative painter for almost 40 years now,” said the 67-year-old.
He had initially studied science as the foundation to a degree in medicine but switched to a six-year course in the arts while in India. His course gave him the opportunity to visit many of the eye-catching places in India.
“I fell in love with the temples, sculptures and caves there. I also studied the Ramayana and Mahabharata during my time there,” he said.
His art embraces romance, centring on motherly love but also encompassing the love between a man and a woman.
“My subjects are not overly thought-provoking; they are about the simple love gestures between people. I focus on simple, everyday scenes that people usually forget,” he explained.
Dr S. Chanthiran does not use the vibrant colours of Thajudeen’s palates but he too takes inspiration from the temples of India.
He also likes to focus on the intricacies of jewellery and his works bear testament to his inclinations.
“Art appreciation is about the emotions it evokes in viewers. I hope that my works can bring out different feelings in my viewers,” said the 52-year-old graduate of the Madras Government College of Arts and Crafts.
Fellow Madras College graduate Indumathi Krishnan presented a broader, more abstract view, saying her works were all about expressing freedom, inner joy and serenity.
“Every human is just a spark in our universe, which is like a huge ocean,” she said.
Not all the artists involved in the exhibition chose to use the canvas as the focus of their creative techniques. Michel Anthony, 51, is a sculptor who works with bronze.
His sculptures are mostly human figures of the feminine form.
“I like the beauty of pure lines and curves,” he said of the apparent sensuality and curvaceous female bodies that he created.
Another artist who chooses to be different is K. Krishnan, who likes to create his works with a ballpoint pen.
“I was studying at the Madras College and one day, happened to forget to bring my materials with me. I had no choice but to use my pen and I liked the effect that it created on the paper,” he said.
Sivarajah has also put his works on display. He is a lighting and set designer for Sutra Dance Theater and likes to combine both his passions in his works.
“I want to capture the sensuality and elegance of the dancer’s body,” he said.