An hour @ the museum: Ion Art Gallery

IN THIS WEEKLY COLUMN, WE VISIT MUSEUMS AND ART SPACES AND HIGHLIGHT WHAT YOU SHOULD SEE IF YOU HAVE ONLY AN HOUR TO SPARE

Ahead of Vesak Day on June 1, check out the Enlightened One, a contemporary art exhibition on the founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, by 25 artists from Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Sweden at Ion Orchard. The works on display range from striking facial depictions painted in both colour and monochrome to other abstract takes that explore Buddha’s everyday teachings and traditions.

Where: Ion Art Gallery, Level 4, 2 Orchard Turn, Ion Orchard MRT: Orchard When: Till Sun, noon - 8pm daily Admission: Free Tel: 9003-2851 Info: www.gnaniarts.com

Lee Jian Xuan


1 THE DREAM (2015)


By Alpana Ahuja, acrylic on canvas, 90x90cm PHOTO: GNANI ARTS

The artist, an animal lover who is inspired by the movements of elephants, depicts a dream by Buddha’s mother, Queen Mahayama, of a white elephant entering her womb. She was told by sages that she would give birth to a great soul.


2 TOUCHED BY THE DIVINE (2013)


By J. Kalidass, oil on linen, 90x120cm PHOTO: GNANI ARTS

This work focuses on the avakasha mudra, a commonly seen gesture by Buddha where he gently rests his hand on his lap, palm faced heavenwards. Elements of nature, like the birds and leaves, lend a sense of positivity and harmony to the painting


3 THE STONE BUDDHA (2015)


By Harshini Sudarshan, mixed media on canvas, 91x91cm PHOTO: GNANI ARTS

The artist attempts to capture Buddha as a three-dimensional stone sculpture. She hopes that the resulting effect makes people want to touch and feel the painting.


4 ADWAIT (2015)


By Mona Singhania, oil on canvas, 92x92cm PHOTO: GNANI ARTS

Adwait is derived from the Sanskrit word for “unique”. The artist pays homage to the Buddha in a tessellated painting that is embellished with her signature motif, a peacock feather.


5 INNER PEACE (2015)


By Shalini Kalaimani, oil on canvas, 91x91cm PHOTO: GNANI ARTS

This work created by the drip painting technique has streaks artfully masking part of the Buddha’s visage. The artist also paints him with a smile to portray a sense of peace, calm and contemplation.


6 DIVINE VIRTUE (2015)


By K.V. Dhilna Amar, oil on canvas, 91x91cm PHOTO: GNANI ARTS

The artist combines the classical image of Buddha with the wheel, a symbol of great importance in Buddhist teachings. The wheel’s eight spokes represent the path that leads to the end of suffering, as well as the cycle of life, death and rebirth.


7 MOKSHA (2015)


By Sheetal Agarwal, mixed media and acrylic on canvas, 61x91cm PHOTO: GNANI ARTS

This Warhol-esque take of Buddha done in a riot of colours portrays him as a source of positive, dynamic energy in a fast-paced world, says the artist, who is also a photographer and awardwinning documentary film-maker.


8 DIVINE CALL (2015)


By Ika Forssell, oil and Japanese washi on canvas, 60x90cm PHOTO: GNANI ARTS

The Singapore-based Swedish artist gives Buddha’s portrait a quirky twist by superimposing cellphone icons on it to show how the viewer can share a personal relationship with Buddha.