CHENNAI: When we think of Gauthama Buddha, enlightenment, Bodhi tree and King Ashoka would perhaps be the three things that come to our minds. However, for four artists and a sculptor from Chennai Buddha is an avenue to express their thoughts instead.
These artists, along with their counterparts from other States in the country, are set to come up with over 100 different ways of depicting Buddha. Starting May 11, their artworks will be displayed at Hyderabad in an exhibition titled ‘Eternal Enlightenment’, which was conceptualised to commemorate Buddha Poornima.
City-based Udayashankar, one of the curators of the show, was instrumental in gathering artists from the city.
“As far as curating paintings is concerned, this is probably one of the first National-level exhibitions themed on Buddha. Kappari Kishan, one of the curators, has conducted it in his State, and now we are taking it to the national level,” he says.
Udayashankar will also be contributing his painting, which portrays his style of relating Buddha and enlightenment. With his meditating-Buddha painting, he aims to depict the tranquility associated with it. In his painting, made in hues of black, grey and blue, Buddha is surrounded by the Bodhi tree and has a hand in ‘chin mudra’, which is one of the poses in meditation.
For Manisha Raju, another participating artist from the city, whose paintings deal with self dialogue and interaction, Buddha preaches the same. “His teachings are about asking questions and realising about the self. It goes along with my train of thought,” she says. Her paintings (Buddha surrounded by lotuses) in hues of red and green, have a soft touch to them, with Buddha looking serene and calm, which, according to Manisha, goes by her style of work.
Relating environment and Buddha is award-winning artist A Arunagiri, whose paintings have small motifs that speak about the environment, in the background. In his black and greyish Buddha on canvas, small images of leaves (symbolising go green) and even fish, as a depiction of the environment, are found. “Besides the work having the usual elements of my pieces of art, there are also the five things taught by Buddha represented in the paintings,” Arunagiri says. Kasa Vinay Kumar’s painting of a large version of Buddha in the background of a smaller one, is a riot of colours. “In all my paintings, the colours overlap and these multiple hues portray alternating moments of confusion and clarity, which lead to enlightenment in a person,” he explains.
Amid the colourful paintings will be sculptures chiseled by Murugan of Mahabalipuram. His sculptures made in black granite and marble will also be exhibited.