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Aiyana Gunjan's solo show titled
The Moving Finger @ Visual Arts Gallery, New Delhi from October 23-27, 2015
New Delhi: Delhi-based artist Aiyana Gunjan is exhibiting paintings in a solo show titled The Moving Finger, curated by eminent art historian Dr Alka Pande at the Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi from October 23 till October 27, 2015, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Aiyana has taken the ancient traditional form of calligraphy into the universal language of contemporary art of abstraction. She uses verses and lines from various religious scriptures in her paintings but uses the finesse and precision of calligraphy to give them a distinct flavor.
She has earlier participated in some prominent group shows where the response to her controlled, flowing, meditative lines created using a calligraphic pen earned her great acclaim. “I paint, not to decorate walls, but to break the walls within. My creative journey is an expression of the spiritual growth. I expressed that in my paintings – the depth, the dimension, the perspectives of life within.”
For instance, in a painting titled Aspiration (2012 series), she has created bold strokes inspired by the Arabic ‘thulus’ script. “This is the first time where my two loves – calligraphy pen and watercolor-came together. It opened a new path of synergy. The triangle in the work depicts aspiring for a higher self, and going beyond the barriers of social conditioning.”
Day And Night, a vertical watercolour and ink created in 2011, depicts the Buddhist concept of “Ichinen Sanzen – meaning past, present, future in one single moment”. “In today’s time when we are connected to the world around the clock, there are indeed no time barriers. There is no concept of day and night,” she says, “the orange depicts sunshine in our lives and the blue is the depth within.”
One of the most introspective works is I AM (2015) where she has transcribed the entire Shivoham song in English script in the shape of a circle or bindu using the calligraphy pen. “I am a Shiva bhakt and Shiva is the energy behind all creation, destruction and recreation. The work for me is about coming a full circle of life and getting closer to an unbounded consciousness of what life and death is about.”
In Praise of Lotus Sutra, another work depicting Aiyana’s secular and all-encompassing approach to life, was created on February 4, 2010, a day celebrated as World Kosen-Rufu Day. “The Lotus Sutra prayer is about spreading of peace around the world as per Buddhism and I think of this work as my spiritual attainment, having written the entire text of Gongyo (the Liturgy we recite) in four hours, in one stretch of time.”
Then there is the seemingly complex calligraphic pattern in Delhi O Delhi (2014) that depicts Aiyana’s sense of being lost in the concentric circles of Delhi roads. Metaphorically, she hints at the confounding trap of money and power that defines Delhi’s socio-political map.
Aiyana calls Music ECG a mathematical painting and indeed - reflecting her mastery over the notes and raagas of Indian classical music – the work has all the 16 beats and the seven notes depicted through a graphical representation.
Apart from these purely calligraphic works, Aiyana has also used her love for photography in some other canvases. Using calligraphy pen strokes on her photographs of Sangam (Allahabad – her birthplace), she adds yet another perspective to her work.
Curator Dr Alka Pande says, “Aiyana is a self-taught artist who took up the calligraphy pen and explored it in its myriad manifestations. She has taken calligraphy to the level of fine art and created a body of work which is deeply spiritual, secular and inward-looking. Her works speak the language of a meditative silence and move along the contours of her personal space. The title of the show The Moving Finger is inspired by Omar Khayyam’s poem Rubaiyat and captures the essence of Aiyana’s highly introspective work.”