Pushing the boundaries

'Art Bengaluru'

Pushing the boundaries

Chinese artist Lin Hong Bo is a master sculptor. Interestingly, his pieces are not made of wood or metal, but paper! In the process of crafting his unique paper sculptures, the young artist tries to push the boundaries of the fragile material. “When people look at a box, they think ‘it’s a box’ but actually, it can change into another thing,” he has been quoted as saying. “I want to change the image, change how people see things. I want them to think in a deeper way.”

  Bo’s process of creation is known to be both meticulous and laborious. Placing layers of paper one by one and attaching each with glue at specific points he first creates a honeycomb pattern. Each sheet is then glued individually by hand until a small block is created. A woodworking saw helps make the initial cuts, discarding excess paper and reducing the area of the block.  Thereafter an angle grinder is employed to sculpt the detailed form. Finishing touches on the sculpture are rendered with sandpaper.

Bo’s paper sculpture is one of the highlights of the curated section of ‘Art Bengaluru’, which is on at UB City till August 30. Titled ‘Paradigm Shift’, the section takes artworks out of the usual art gallery context and places them in the plush precincts of a modern mall. According to curator Suresh Jayaram, the effort is to contextualise the urban reality in which the artist exists and operates; and also to recognise post-capitalist symbols like the malls as possible art destinations where modern and contemporary art could be located and enjoyed. “We want the audience to pause and contemplate the creative indulgence of the artists and their ability to question reality,” says curator Suresh Jayaram.  “We wish to create new dynamics with the visual culture of our times.”

The empty spaces on different levels of the mall have been put to good use for placing large sized  sculptural installations which otherwise would have been difficult to fit in an art gallery. Among the eye-catching works on display are the giant ‘bar-codes’ installed by Auroville-based architect and ceramist Adil Writer. While the tall structures give the impression of solidity and ruggedness, they are in fact painted canvases stretched on light wooden frames! Interestingly, unlike other sculptors and installation artists, Adil encourages visitors to touch his artworks and feel the colours, textures and contours. Bangalore-based Ravi Kashi’s wall piece made up of a series of paper-pulp body casts surrounded by a mass of paper slips is another work that draws immediate attention. 

    Other attractions of ‘Paradigm Shift’ include French artist Nicolas Clauss’s delicate  photographic portraits; Delhi-based Gigi Scaria’s intricately structured cityscapes;  Bangalore-based Shanthi Prakash Nandesha’s  heavy metal ‘medallions’ and painted ‘gift box’ made of used metal trunks; Gopinath Subbanna’s autobiographical fiberglass sculpture of a ‘thinking man’; and Chennai-based Maria Antony Raj’s metallic insects crawling on the floor.  

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