The smoke coming from the many stoves in the Kalakshetra ceramics department signals a lot of activity. The smell of scorched earth is in the air as you walk into the otherwise quiet and hidden part of the campus where there is a work area. In the past few weeks, this has been the second home for a group of Indian and Korean artists sitting near a soothing mini pond. By the end of February, everything they're working on in an exhibition titled Earth Matters – 3 will be an attempt to explore ideas and thoughts related to nature.
The InKo Center, in collaboration with the Clayarch Gimhae Museum in Korea, the Kalakshetra Foundation and DakshinaChitra, brought together four Korean and four Indian ceramic artists to engage in a multicultural dialogue in this medium.
The crowded work area offers a collage of sights. While coffee is brewed in one corner, a Buddha figure takes shape in another. The first sculptures are fired in the back yard. On one of the work tables, artist Suh Sanghee ends a bust on clay while referring to an image on her cell phone. "The picture is one of our helpers here. He is the only one who can make friends with the dogs here, ”she laughs. Her finished figurative works include the busts of Ganesha, Buddha and the figure of a cow.
“Many people come to India to find enlightenment and peace, me too. I was looking for luck. The first thing I noticed was what the figure of Ganesha means to the people here, ”says Sanghee, who will present five works in the exhibition. The idea was to create structures that ultimately redefine the meaning of happiness for them. On the other hand, the undefined, almost flowing structures of Park Ja il view identity as a concept.
“These abstract compositions reflect emotions that I felt when I questioned my identity. These works can be described as emissions, emptiness and explosions, ”says the artist, whose work is the result of her emotional journey.
Hong Geun Young takes this concept further by creating structures that run through the physical body – abstract figures with human characteristics and unusual elements make up most of her work.
The Indian ceramic artist Neha Kudchakar follows a similar path with one of her works. Although Neha's selection of 21 nail-like structures is still in the making, it reflects her personal and emotional development. "I also use a lot of photography. Together with this special work, I will show photographs that show the juxtaposition of two bodies and the cavities that can arise when they are placed against each other, ”says Neha, who will show a total of three works. Another work by her is modeled from fragmented plastic containers that households use every day and that are put together to form a porcelain wall (porcelain walls that are often associated with luxury and money privileges).
While Abir Patwardhan looks at nature and its ability to create something out of nothing, especially the "networking of nature". He works with a rope that forms the structure, but when it shoots it disappears, leaving an emptiness. This is a completely new process that Abir is experimenting with. Snake-shaped, complex tracks are the result of this.
Ramkumar Kannadasan's work in Chennai is a refutation of urbanization that happens at the expense of nature. His two-part sculpture of an elephant body between an urban area and a forest captures the contrast he wants to show. “Whenever something comes under human control, it shrinks. If you leave it alone in its natural environment, it's the other way around, ”says the artist.
Although the techniques are similar, what the different cultures bring to the table is the point of interest in the exhibition. For the artists, camaraderie and the resulting artistic work are the main reason for the residence.
Earth Matters – 3 will be inaugurated on February 27 and will be exhibited at the Varija Art Gallery, DakshnaChitra, Muttukadu, until March 5.