When the lotus bloomed on canvas

When the lotus bloomed on canvas

The beauty of lotus has enchanted mankind for ages. A glorious flower which rises out of slush, an extravagance of petals each precisely arranged, the lotus fans out at dawn to greet the sun, a daily origami in motion. No wonder artists across the world have drawn inspiration from this miracle of nature, in the past and in the present.

Recently, this earthy beauty found representation in Indo-Japanese artist Yuriko Ando Lochan’s exhibition. Yuriko, Japanese by birth and residing in India for decades now, painted a series of watercolours-on-paper depicting lotus in its many heart-stealing forms. The exhibit was held at Art Indus gallery under the title ‘Hana’ - The Lotus.

‘Hana’ in Japanese means ‘flowers.’ Yuriko, indeed, has always shown a fascination for flowers with constant experimentations with the Amaltas, Gulmohar and Kachinar in her previous works. Lotus, though, she says, remains her favourite. “The lotus,” she explains, “has a special significance in our Indian subcontinent where it is found
in abundance.”

“The Lotus signifies rising above the murkiness in the world, the emergence of truth and success from the struggles of life. It is a symbol of eternal change, the perpetual unfolding of life and discovering of further truths. We offer it to our beloved
and lord Buddha too. I have always found it to be a most apt subject for a whole
series of paintings.”

Yuriko, in a tribute to Japanese-style screen paintings, put together several Shikishi hand-laminated papers to prepare a grand canvas for her lotuses. She then portrayed the life-size flowers in different colours and settings. The structures are most noticeable – the variegated organisation of the petals followed by the fine etching of the veins. The white lotuses are as endearing as the more commonly portrayed red and pink. 

Says the artist, “I have combined both my Japanese and Indian art sensibilities in this series. The Japanese techniques meet my Indian art aesthetics and hopefully, recreate the charm of lotus on canvas. It is attempting
to be God with God’s own artwork as the model.”

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