Myriad impulses

Endless stimuli

Myriad impulses

Molten fire: Simran’s works express themselves in high  octane notes.

Art, like music, transcends borders of defined creativity. And so, there have been several film makers who have found their muse on the canvas and, as comfortably, on film. After all, film has been considered a work of art at least since 1911 when Ricciotto Canudo published The Birth of the Sixth Art. In fact, the very process of making a film is often considered to be a work of art. For Simran KS Lamba, creativity can be laid out with equal felicity on canvas as on screen.

Lamba, a Literature graduate from Delhi University went on to study TV and video production and directed My Nicotine (2004-2005) and A Love Song (2005). He is a self-taught artist who recently held first solo art exhibition in Delhi. Titled Genesis, the showing has been three years in the making. He showed mixed media works using a difficult medium like coal tar and other ingredients including glass, metal and wire. The result has an evocative texture. To bring out the intensity of his muse, Lamba has used different media with gumption. In fact, the medium remains just that. Its personality and how it lends itself to expressing his thoughts is all that matters. Coal tar is never an easy medium to handle, at the best of times. It throws up its own challenges of temperature and texture and has a personality that many artists may prefer to give a miss. But for Simran, the fun lies in the very fact that it is a difficult medium. “The challenge is not only to get the consistency right but also layering images with it as it requires a lot of practice and physical strain.” The technique can require some mastery since tar has a mind of its own.

Growing up with creativity

Creativity and Simran have had a symbiotic relationship. Son of designer Mona Lamba of the MonaPali sister duo, artistry has been an integral part of his growing up. For him, then, whether it be a twist of fabric, filmmaking or art, each is a medium of expressing the artistic fount. He has grown up sketching and performing on stage. The former matured into art while theatre led him to filmmaking.

Textured passion: Simran’s works have ferocious energy and interludes of calm. But why does he dabble in different media? “As a genre both are wonderful mediums to express perspective but both have their limitations,” he explains. If you believe the limitation can be a deterrent, for Simran, it is the stimulant. In fact, he also enjoys writing and has scripted two feature films, Haba Ki Chah and Kaya Kalp, besides the stories of his short films.

Creative people like Simran bring up that chicken-and-egg debate between nature and nurture. How much of creative talent is in-born and how much comes from nurturing? Does a creative atmosphere at home help a child grow up to be creative? Simran has no definite answer to that. Perhaps, as he suggests, it is a bit of both. “I attribute my perspective to a diet of constant introspection and questioning, but for me to reason in this manner would be attributed to the fact that my mother has shaped my sense of aesthetics and taught me to have the courage to express myself without fear of rejection or criticism.”

The result is images that are abstract and yet, at some point, identifiable. Does he prefer to step back after finishing a canvas and leaving something for the viewer to interpret?
“There are several direct references to the themes and motifs I wanted to bring to the fore but at the same time I have left room for the viewer to interpret the same as they deem fit.” For Simran, creativity is a two-way interaction with the viewer and the objective has been to trigger off a dialogue, like in the Kali series. “Art is subjective and there aren't clear demarcations proclaiming right from wrong or good from bad. The medium I use allows space for introspection and interpretation so engaging in meaningful conversations with some of my audience has been the highlight of my show for me.”

Simran is working on his feature film, Chickotee, which he defines as “a mad romantic teen film set in New Delhi.” So, does that call for a break in his painting? Not at all. For him, like for many artists, creative processes run parallel, feeding, nurturing and inspiring each other. “This journey of constant juxtaposition of textures, construction and deconstruction of form and the play with dimensions will carry on,” he believes, as he prepares for his next show of paintings.

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