Sunday, 13 January 2019

Art is a powerful medium for personal development

Humankind has not still recovered fully from the tentacles of shock, bitterness, and dejection associated with slavery and the slave trade that happened in some parts of the world in the past centuries. When we speak about slavery, the focus suddenly shifts to the African continents; the cruelty, oppression, and suppression encountered by the people over there were unimaginable. However, it is a well-known fact that slavery and slave trade flourished in the shadows of colonization, invasion, and trade deals carried out by the British, Dutch, and others in other parts of the world as well. The horrifying and the most unfortunate aspect of such atrocities was the lack of proper records about this shady trade, the people who controlled it, and the profile of the most unfortunate souls who suddenly found their voices unheard of by anyone.

Human beings were captured, treated cruelly and sold like cheap commodities. Just like animals for slaughter they were chained and carried away to other continents for sale. No one cared for their names, nationality, or ethnicity. They were assigned names by their handlers and, they were supposed to obey their masters whatever the orders might be. They must stop behaving like a fellow human being, instead become an obedient slave following their master unconditionally observing silence.
Just do it!
 Just obey! 
Don't utter a word! 
Ironically, in case they get sold to someone, they must obey the new master. 

Sue Williamson, a very talented and famous artist based at Cape Town in South Africa, through this huge installation is telling us the sad story of such poor souls and the acts of cruelty these humans suffered at the hands of their own fellow men. If you go through the unspeakable acts of savagery and brutality during the period of the slave trade it will make you horrified. The installation is made using wood, fishnets, glass bottles, metal, and water. She has inscribed the names of the slaves obtained from the archives from Cape Town on these soil infused bottles trapped inside fishnets through which water gets circulated throughout. The whole bunch is hung from the ceiling and the water flows into the tank built in the ground. These tanks are lined with wooden panels on which the details of the slave trade ships’ itinerary are inscribed. 

This wonderful artwork is titled 'message from the Atlantic passages'. You can view this work at the Aspinwall House in Fort Kochi, which is the primary venue of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018 - 2019. Much has been written about this amazing installation that explains the popularity of this artwork and the unique theme it conveys. Oppression, suppression, and slavery in any form are evil which drains the life out of humans making people barbarians. This work subtly radiates the fact that slavery in all forms is bad and it includes modern-day slavery as well.
  • The important aspects of a successful personality are free will, free thinking, and an independent state of existence. Modern-day slavery that is prevalent in many forms will restrict personal development and one must be vigilant not to succumb to it.

She has exhibited one more art here. Please check this post - 

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Friday, 11 January 2019

Art has power: A beautiful video installation in the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2019

Indian soldiers fought fiercely for the British empire during World War II against the Axis powers. World War II resulted in the loss of lives of more than 85,000 Indian soldiers which included those who went missing as well, about 35,000 were wounded and around 80000 were held as prisoners of war. Have we acknowledged the services of these brave men adequately who fought fiercely the bitter wars that the world had fought is a very thought-provoking question. When viewed in a post-colonial, global perspective we cannot ignore the contributions of these brave men who had sacrificed their lives in different parts of the world. Moreover, such historical events should also be kept alive in our memories and must make us feel proud for the contributions of our ancestors without which the Allies would not have won the war against the Axis powers.

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew in her video installation has brought the events of the past into limelight once again. Modern life is progressing at a very fast pace with commercialization, self-centeredness, and narrowed focus being given more importance, and there is a total lack of acknowledgment of some of the events like these that have taken place in the past. But it is the history that shaped the present, which all the more highlights the fact that we cannot simply move forward by completely forgetting the past.

This video installation brings the sacrifice of the Indian soldiers during the Italian campaign of World War II to our attention. This work surely will prompt people to re-visit the history of the British rule in India to find out more about such events that did not get sufficient exposure. This is a beautiful installation that has become very popular among visitors. 

Thank you Annu Palakunnathu Matthew for this wonderful installation😊
  • Art is a powerful medium capable of creating vibes in ourselves. It is thought-provoking, has power, and it is beautiful! Use it for personal development!

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Sunday, 23 December 2018

Art - use it to boost creativity

Water temple, an artwork by Song Dong
Inspired by his dad's tip to improve the calligraphical skills and at the same time to save paper and ink Song Dong, an artist based at Beijing has started painting on glass with water using a brush and it formed the basis of this masterpiece at the Aspinwall House, the main venue of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018. We can enter inside this glass enclosure and create our own masterpieces as well, just paint using water and brushes kept there. So use this space to tweak your artistic skills, let your creativity develop!

A good creative pursuit!

Another one, also good!
The above ones were created by some of the people while I visited there. The canvas clears by itself naturally for the ones that come afterward. What a beautiful idea, brilliant!

Artist's profile and what this is all about
This artist has gifted this edition of Biennale a beautiful art which is located at the sprawling compound of the Aspinwall House gelling well with the natural surroundings. Such works provide an interactive platform for the visitors which undoubtedly make them more involved with the creative pieces of art. 

My attempt :)
The above one was made by myself. I leave the interpretation to you😊

Philosophically speaking, all of us are visiting this planet for our destined period. The vast canvas is kept clean by the universe, that is its rule, its duty. We are free to draw whatever we like, paint it and decorate it. It is all up to us how we do it! Once our time here ends, the same canvas will be wiped clean, the next ones in the line step in, and will begin their turn in front of it. Now it is all their world, their life, they can do whatever they like to do with it. How they make use of their time here is only what that matters! Metaphorically, if something needs to last a little longer or we wish to make it last more, paint it frequently, add water little by little, and this reminds us the need to give more attention to such matters of importance. If not, the picture dries up quickly making the canvas blank. Care, attention, and putting our heart into whatever is our passion are some of the important things to be successful.

A great work, indeed! Thank you so much, Song😊

Check this video on YouTube
  • Art is powerful. When it is interactive it becomes more powerful. Energizing positive vibes emanate from such masterpieces that make people better, and more receptive to joy and happiness in life.

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Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Cloud watching, a meditative activity

Cloud watching @ Subhash Bose Park, Kochi
Cloud watching is a very enjoyable hobby. Not at all expensive, no need of any types of equipment, it only requires lying down somewhere and watching the clouds in the sky! Make a note of them, observe their movements, and try to make out some shapes. Some are fluffy, others are foggy, many are furry, a few are flaky, and there are plenty that looks feathery! The above picture was taken during a cloud watching session at the Subhash Bose Park at Kochi, in Kerala a few months ago. It was a very wonderful activity we enjoyed!

Cloud watching @ Cubbon park, Bangalore
This was taken at the Cubbon Park in Bangalore. It was a short session but good. The park as you know is full of trees and watching clouds move between the shades was pretty cool! Sometimes it is like a meditation connecting with nature. Try it, it is a wonderful way to relax!

This was also cloud watching done at a very close range. Such fluffy shapes looked very interesting indeed. Tiny bundles of fluffy shapes changed into a large mass and suddenly the sky was very blue! No clouds, just plain blue sky. So that was the experience of cloud watching while flying.

Try cloud watching as a meditative activity. It is a beautiful way to connect with nature. An effective way to relax.
  • There are different ways to meditate. Meditation calms the mind, slows the racing thoughts, and aid in whole body relaxation. Cloud watching as a method of meditation has the added advantage of connecting with nature in natural settings.
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Sunday, 14 October 2018

An important motivational tip for success: Never ever give up!

Easier said than done!

Maybe, but it is not easy for everyone to say 'never give up' or 'never ever give up'. It needs a lot of courage to utter these words earnestly to someone who has experienced repeated setbacks or to ourselves as self-talk in the form of a positive affirmation when we do not have a clue what to do in the midst of turmoil. We all agree words have the power to instill positive energy but most of the time we feel like words hurting, the negative energy of filthy tongues inflicting deep wounds on us that take a long time to heal. And the so-called 'well-wishers', 'friends', 'acquaintances' etc. by some social mechanism become talented in poking at these wounds, again and again, applying hot chilly also in a good measure so that they remain non-healing. The human mind is sensitive to the negative life events with fear-flight response to a serious stimulus overpowering the emotions of positive occurrences. It requires a lot of effort on the part of the sufferer to overcome such fears fighting the demons of negativity by pumping positive energy into one's own mind. If someone persistently talks positively with conviction, then that will be a great motivating factor! We need powerful and skilfull motivators in life. 

Some people have the habit of not giving up until they succeed. Even if they fail they will continue trying until they attain their goals. Such traits are not acquired overnight, they are the results of years of practice. It is interesting to find out how a habit is formed. First, we get some clue from the world we live in about something good which triggers thought processes in our brain. We weigh the pros and cons of this particular thing whether to accept it or discard. If it is accepted then slowly we start doing it bit by bit, then the action phase begins. If we feel good there is a high probability that we will repeat the process until it becomes a habit. With the happiness derived from this activity, there occurs a reinforcing pattern of thoughts which strengthens the habit. The process is the same with bad habits as well, sadly such things easily get ingrained in our minds. 

It is better to believe that there will be light at the end of the dark tunnel. Some solution will pop up one day or the other for even the most serious problem and with the passage of time, we tend to feel less the trauma. Such bad phases will eventually pass, do not worry too much! Be hopeful.  The important thing remember is to do something or never stop trying. In short, it is:

Never ever give up!
  • It is advisable to say 'I will never give up' as a positive affirmation to replace the negative self-talk to help the mind generate positive energy. Make it a habit that will steer clear the obstacles bringing the desired results.
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