Sunaina is a contemporary artist of Indian origin, who lives and works in Singapore. Educated in India, she moved to Tokyo in the late 90’s and has spent the last two decades in various parts of North and South Asia. The various cultural influences she experienced during these years are very evident in her visual vocabulary. Having completed her formal education as a textile designer specialising in print, she chose to pursue an immersive education in the traditional art form of Nihonga in Japan, where she spent 5 years studying under Ohta-sensei of the Kyoshin-Do school.
Her work revolves around the repetitive and ritualistic nature of gestures and their traces. She explores the transformative effects of the deliberate infliction of pain on the human body during the curative process of alleviating disease and decay. By using industrial materials analogous to the fragile nature of the body, she examines the passage of time and the mark making that documents this process.
Sunaina has exhibited in Japan, India, Singapore, Europe and the Middle East. Her works are in the permanent collections of the ESSL Museum, Vienna and Mumbai Airports Authority, India, and in various private collections globally.
The artist’s works are available for viewing at www.sunainabhalla.com
16 is the age that is technically the threshold of womanhood. In ancient times it was earlier.
Using three colours of red , black and white as building blocks, I have deconstructed female characters from two of the greatest epics in Hindu Mythology - The Ramayana and The Mahabharata.
These two epics are the quintessential writings which are the bases for all societal and cultural ‘rules, norms, guidelines’ within which our society operates.
The sanctity of these texts is paramount however the interpretation is questionable. The ambiguity and the way these are interpreted become subjective.
Passion and aggression are two sides of the same coin, and can literally be interpreted as a metamorphosis of energy from the positive to the negative and the sexual connotations of the color red are just as vital to deconstruct. Red is the color for fertility but also the color for bloodshed and aggression.
These 16 women are examined through paintings, sculpture and installations, with the focus being on the relative balance between the three colors representing three different emotions that are experienced – with the balance of the palette denoting degrees of the dominant emotion.
Red can be read as Aggression as well as Passion, two sides of the same coin. Black is both a symbol of Power and Depression and White is Purity and Widowhood, a strange contrast for the same colour-or lack of it.
Reading the 16 mirrors as a daily reflection of various moods, I have tried to envisage the myriad moods of these women in the epics.