When frames don't define pictures
A new exhibition titled i have seen the labyrinth and it looks like a straight line by artist Vimal Chandran recently hit Thalam, a gallery in Domlur. “The title holds both personal and political meaning for me. We’re so busy going about our daily lives that we don’t see the bigger picture,” said Vimal.
Vimal grew up in Palakkad, Kerala and has been painting since the age of four. As the years progressed, he also started experimenting with various forms of art. “I like surrealism and pop-art. But these are old-age forms. The world’s changing so fast these days and people don’t really have time. So I believe that art shouldn’t hang in galleries, waiting for people to come to it. Instead, art should reach people. Take Bansky’s graffiti for example, it’s out there on the street. Which is why I now work with doodles and illustrations, which are much more accessible,” explained Vimal.
The exhibition features some of Vimal’s illustrations, photographs and watercolour paintings, as well as wall art. “I think I’m most comfortable with watercolours. It’s a quick medium and once I get an idea, the painting can be done in two to three hours,” he said.
Vimal is quite popular for his Unposted Letters- an extensive ink series about a boy and a girl. At first, these may look like simple, pleasant depictions, but on closer observation one notices certain political/philosophical ideologies under the pretty surface. These are songs of unrequited love.
The watercolour series showcases deep existential dialogue, and covers themes like agony, loss and melancholy. Whereas, his photography follows a documentary style of narrative that tries to capture the struggle of everyday life. “I like travelling. So when I’m out exploring, instead of trying to capture the beauty of the landscapes, I prefer observing people and their daily lives and documenting this for the public,” said Vimal.
The most fascinating part of the exhibition is that one not only gets to see various ideas coming together, but there’s also an amalgamation of forms. Images are not restricted to frames and thoughts leap from pictures to open space. “I would like to call this visual poetry. I don’t restrict myself to form. I’m more idea oriented and let the idea dictate it’s own space,” said Vimal.
The artist also does some commercial work where he experiments with illustrations.