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Exploring art as an entity

Zschibu Zschiv Ram uses non-figurative forms, largely geometric shapes, in his visual communication


ZSCHIBU ZSCHIV Ram has named the exhibition of his paintings `Sight of Insight', and the collection indeed looks into an inner mindscape. A series comprising 50 paintings of Zschibu are on display at the Lalithakala Akademi, Nalanda, in the city.

Water-based medium

Zschibu works with water-based medium, using it in an opaque application in a deliberate attempt to transform the transparent essence of forms. The artist has set for himself an ambitious goal - "to represent the art of art" and in so doing to re-conceptualise the notion of art as representation. Says Zschibu: "The comparison of art to another object is not art, but symbolism. I am exploring the total existence of art."

The very idea of art has to be transformed into that of an entity in itself, devoid of any metaphorical significance. Being an allusion to something else is what makes art an abstract representation of the concrete. Zschibu seeks to rework art as a concrete entity where art exists "exclusively for art."

Geometrical shapes

Zschibu uses non-figurative forms, largely geometric shapes with an abundance of squares, triangles, circles and rectangles, for his creative visual communication.

They clearly do not correspond to any natural or man-made images familiar to an onlooker. When a circle with two discernible eye-like images are pointed out, Zschibu assures that they are entirely unintended. Amidst the shapes in mystifying colours, one notices bright flickerings of light.

Even when the paintings are treated as flat, they assume a three-dimensional effect owing to the presentation of space divisions. Grey and blue are the two recurring shades in his paintings. Zschibu says they signify the immense vacuum that life traverses between. He refuses to name his paintings for he feels it limits the scope of interpretation. "I do not want to give guidelines to my viewers; they are free to interpret they way it suits them best."

Asked about the inspiration behind his creative impulse, Zschibu maintains that nature does not inspire the artist in him and nor do social issues. His paintings are rather inspired by his meditative moods, says Zschibu, whose other interests include meditation and reading books of J. Krishnamurti.

Despite being without any literary, storytelling or narrative allusions, the paintings of Zschibu appeal at the outset because of the mystic world they create, there existing a strange and elusive beauty about them.

A teacher in a school in Balaramapuram, Zschibu is determined to pursue his artistic explorations. He dreams of a day when he can device a means to communicate sans any symbols, shapes or colours.

K. S. ASWATHY KARNAVER

Photos: S. Gopakumar

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