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Tensing Joseph’s sculptures combine mechanics with poetry

The artist’s solo shows are now running simultaneously at Durbar Hall Art Gallery, Kochi and the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library at Dallas in the U.S.

The artist’s solo shows are now running simultaneously at Durbar Hall Art Gallery, Kochi and the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library at Dallas in the U.S.

A small ear carved on a circular board, three feet in diameter, is an allusion to artist Van Gogh’s self-mutilation attempt. In the other ear is embedded a speaker, which plays a recitation of the poem Van Gogh by American poet Jeanne Murray Walker. In the installation ‘Obscenities in the Eye of the Beholder’, a video is embedded in the iris of a wide open eye. In ‘How Do Birds Erase Boundaries’, 20 birds are perched in a cage. The sculpture rotates to a musical symphony composed by the artist.

These works and more are part of Tensing Joseph’s solo shows now running simultaneously at Durbar Hall Art Gallery, Kochi and the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library at Dallas in the U.S. “Both exhibitions are alike,” says Mr. Joseph, Director at the Raja Ravi Varma Centre of Excellence for Visual Arts, Mavelikara. The shows connect continents and works act as a bridge to global literature and art.

Tensing Joseph

Tensing Joseph

In Kochi, the exhibition is titled ‘What You Think Is Not Important To Me’. Of the 10 sculptures and five paintings being displayed, four kinetic sculptures in  kumbal or white wood stand out for their combined use of multimedia, mechanics and movement. “My new kinetic sculptures are based on new materials tested in the evolutionary directions of art history and also from direct experiential observations,” says the artist.

In ‘The End and Beginning’,  a small fish pulls a school of smaller fish. A central light projects the shadow of the moving fish onto the wall. This, says Mr. Joseph, is inspired by auteur Federico Fellini’s Capricorn. “I recreated the surrealism in the film,” he says. The other sculptures are conventional reliefs in wood. Academic and environmentalist Madhav Gadgil appears in a large 16×6 feet painting along with images of the habitats he has championed, as against environmental degradation. The work was a reaction to the 2018 Kerala floods, says the artist.

The show concludes on November 16. 

‘Obscenities in the Eye of the Beholder’ by Tensing Joseph

‘Obscenities in the Eye of the Beholder’ by Tensing Joseph
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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