“My travels and experiences have changed my attitude and concepts. Singapore taught me to be ‘better than the best, never let it rest’. Japan showed me that true beauty lays in nature alone. My creativity also got further enriched by the rural life in India.” ~ Madhu Jain
Madhu Jain, a well-known Indian artist, who obtained her Diploma in Fine Arts from the Sarda Ukil School of Arts in New Delhi, is famous for her work in Nihonga technique. She studied Sumi-e (Ink Painting) at the Baptist Church School and Nihonga (Japanese style painting) at the NHK Bunka Center in Tokyo.
The exhibition The World Around Me was shown in Tokyo, Japan at the Indian Culture Centre in February 2015, and subsequently opens in Singapore at Galerie Belvedere from 4 to 8 March 2015. This show is a presentation of the artist’s art using contemporary Nihonga and Sumi-e.
In recent years, Madhu Jain’s work has been influenced by her travels to the Far East, where she developed new creative processes which have taken her work to a new dimension.
In this exhibition, beauties of nature and folk life have been the focus of her creativity and expression. The shimmering blue of the peacock, the purple of the pigeons, the light footed reindeer, the translucent cherry blossoms and orchids have caught her fascination and interest.
The works show the ‘joie de vivre’ of countryside folks in her native Rajasthan, portraying their voluminous gathered lehengas (skirts), the desert dunes and sunsets, women and pots.
Besides her sense and imagination, what makes these works special is the Nihonga palette. This has about 1500 mineral pigments which are layered with brush, using glue (nikawa) and water on handmade washi paper, each layer drying in between. The multiple layering of the colour pigments brings a new richness to the artist’s canvas. This art form originated in India centuries ago and travelled to the Far East, where, in Japan, it was perfected and given the name of Nihonga.
In Sumi-e, the single stroke black ink painting, much like in the Zen concept, only the minimal essence is communicated, whereas all unnecessary details have been dropped. Needless to say, it is beauty condensed and distilled.
Exhibition: The World Around Me
Dates: 4 – 8 March 2015
Hours: 4 – 6 March, 11am – 7pm | 7 – 8 March, 12pm – 5pm
Venue: Galerie Belvedere, 140 Hill Street, Old Hill Street Police Station