Knowing what to let go and what to nourish is a precarious path that only comes with wisdom. We recently met an artist who has sort of achieved this consciousness through contemplative practice. This is Ana Jain, presenting her illustrations at the ongoing show, Yugen at Triveni Gallery. A walk-through of the show makes it is clear that her work reflects both her creative dexterity and her personal eccentricities.
The exhibition’s title is better understood after breaking it down. Yugen (Yu in Japanese means brilliant and beautiful, and gen defines dark and mysterious). When assimilated, the word stands for profound awareness of the universe that triggers feelings so deep they cannot be expressed through words, says Jain. “A good example of this feeling is Hiraeth, a Welsh concept of longing for home. I want people to take a moment from their busy lives and ponder over this. Hopefully, my paintings will be the starting point of this introspection.”
This intention comes out on paper and canvas through watercolours, acrylic, threads and fabric in the show – feminine forms with sharp characteristics and minimalist features. Many of them have sproutings emerging from the head, but Jain leaves it to the viewer to interpret it.
All the works depict the artist’s changing moods. “I want the viewer to be at the centre of my work. My female protagonists are impulses for an internal inquiry. It’s about broadening your perspective. Like watching a ship sail in high waters. It eventually merges into the horizon till you don’t see it anymore. The ship is still there somewhere, only not visible now. So I want you to stop and introspect about what lies beyond?” says Jain, also a certified Sivananda Yoga teacher, design professional, and writer. On: May 23-June 1At: Triveni Gallery