Chronicling change through art

Artist Vivek Vilasini’s new exhibition is about bright houses and walls, people’s dreams and how they access information and internalise it

One of artist Vivek Vilasini’s works at his solo exhibition ‘...and for those who do not sing the national anthem in their mother tongue’ at Sakshi Gallery, is of a fuchsia pink wall. Two Malayalam words — Parasyam Padilla or ‘No advertisements or posters allowed’ — are painted neatly on the wall. The next picture is even more striking. There is a multi-coloured hen coop (with bright pink walls, a purple roof and yellow windows) and, most interestingly, two hens lazying around. The pictures are part of Vilasini’s series on housing dreams, which he shot in Palakkad while travelling around Kerala. He describes these pictures as “brave aesthetic”, elaborating that the bright colours are symbolic of the dreams that the people of Kerala harboured, buoyed by their new-found economic freedom and prosperity in the 1990s. “They house their dreams in these spaces,” adds Vilasini.


Vilasini, who splits his time between Kochi and Bangalore, studied in the All India Marine College in Kochi, but the inspiration to think out of the box, beyond the obvious, came in as early as class 8. “My Science teacher, who had a great influence in my life, explained to us about light and how it travels in one light. That really fascinated me,” he remembers. Explaining the unusual title of the exhibition, Vilasini explains that he has always been interested in how people negotiate a space where they do not speak their mother tongue.

The artist explains that the underlying theme of most of his pictures is how people access information and then generalise or internalise it. “People accept information and make it their own,” explains Vilasini, adding that he has always been interested in observing how people are happy, even though each person follows his own set of customs and is fundamentally different from the rest.

When: Till February 4, 11 am - 6 pm
Where: Grants Building, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba

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