On the bridge I--like a psychopomp--face two worlds... which is above and which below I don't really know...
(Wooden Bridge, Srinagar, 2011)

This is a promo of my documentary on the Rann of Kutch:

If you happen to be in Jaipur in November/December please do see my SOLO show of my X-ray works titled 'THE INNER EYE' The show opens Nov 10, 2012 at Gallery ArtChill, inside Amber Fort, Jaipur (Rajasthan)

KARACHI, Sept 2: With the help of slides, Mr Singh explained the inspiration behind the piece he made for the exhibition. He said he was born in Lucknow, in the area near a mental hospital where his mother worked. He observed that while physical injuries were visible, mental injuries were not. Afterwards, he began using X-rays for his artwork. Mr Singh also touched on his different art ventures, including the ones based on Greek mythological character Icarus, and Hindu goddesses Durga and Kaali and explained them to the audience as well showing visuals…

Original DAWN story here
90 cm X 90 cm Acrylic on canvas

75 cm X 75 cm Acrylic on canvas

PSYCHOLOGIES: Dhiraj Singh, 39, Artist                                                                                                                                                                                 WHO: Singh is a Delhi born and based mixed-media artist. He started his career as an art journalist, with a PG Diploma in Journalism from Asian College of Journalism. He has exhibited at the 2009 Indian Art Summit, the India-Australia show at Art Konsult, New Delhi, and the Aakriti Art Gallery in Kolkata.

Why do you use X-rays as installations? 
I was a sickly child who made a lot of trips to the hospital. The image of X-rays stayed with me. It lets me explore what lies beyond surfaces. It’s not macabre, but a sane and detached way of seeing people. There’s a lot of beauty there. I can do so much with the texture, and the play of light and darkness. A work of art is not an end product; it has a back-story that extends into the cosmos. With X-rays, I can engage with the story. 

Your vision for X-rays ? 
I want to go bigger with my installations. Right now, they are indoors, lit artificially. I want to set them up in natural lighting. I want them to be a public engagement. 

Why switch from journalism to art? 
Covering the art beat, I was exposed to a lot of art and artists. What we call the back of the book can address our journalistic concerns better as it takes an abstract view and includes everything in a layered manner. Gradually I grew disillusioned by normal standards of journalism. I was growing as a person and found news cycles confining. I began to express that through art. 

How much of your journalism do you put in art? 
My work is more informed by my knowledge. I did this installation in Australia called The Black Tide. I wanted to combine the imagery of a coastal Australia that celebrates surfing, with its racist past and the genocide of the aboriginals. I’d read so much about the racial violence that I could pick on these themes. My journalistic training betters what I create. 

What do you think about art writing in India? 
There are various audiences. One, which is interested in the business. Another, which cares about the aesthetic value. A third, that functions as a social registry following the who’s who. I’m interested in reading those who track new trends, practices and lesser-known artists. But such writings happen on too small a scale. Art writing will improve once people look at art not just as a decorative product but a way of seeing the world. Good art has to change perceptions.
As told to Aradhna Wal

(Pic: Black Tide 1 & 2)
Tehelka magazine, Vol 9, Issue 21, Dated 26 May 2012; online version here

75 cm X 75 cm Acrylic on canvas

75 cm X 75 cm Acrylic on canvas

This work is inspired by the Greek mythology story of Gaia (Earth) and Uranus (Sky) in which the Earth is the supreme mother of all creation and the Sky is her son. I like this mother-centric mythology where the solid, finite and supremely fecund Earth gives birth to everything, including the fluid and infinite Sky. In this abstract work I have tried to show the green and ultra-fertile Earth being slowly enveloped by the blue drops of a new-born Sky. (45 cm X 45 cm Acrylic on canvas)

Acrylic on canvas
30 cm X 30 cm (each)
Once while working for the Hindustan Times' newly launched HT City... sometime when the 1990s were turning into the 2000s... I had this brilliant (at least I thought it was, then) idea that I should have a column where I imagined myself in the Delhi of the future, a place that had moved on from being an overgrown mofussil town to a sort of sizzling New Age Vatican. I wanted to call the column 'Deja View' but my Editor thought it too dense and convoluted and suggested 'Future Shockers'. I agreed, although reluctantly, and so was born my first very own newspaper space from where I could rev up my time machine and go visit the future. This here is the first of my Future Shockers and also the last of my artworks accompanying it :)

I have called this work 'Kali' and it's made of X-ray sheets, plastic feeding bottle and LED lights (Dimensions: 8 inches X 10 inches X 3 inches). Kali is inspired by my visit to some Aborigine sacred sites around Sydney. The Aboriginal culture to me seems highly evolved and sophisticated as it had learned to see (and comprehend) the 'deep structure' of our existence on earth... and had in its own unique way tried to answer questions of birth, life, death and the beyond. To me this very closely relates to our own Tantric (left-hand path) version of life, death and liberation or rebirth. Why I've called this work Kali is because it represents a loving, nurturing aspect of the goddess who is mostly represented as dark, vengeful and bloody. The bottle analogy came into play after the birth my son, Kazuo, who was very kind to lend me one of his bottles for the work.

These are pictures of the Australia India Cultural Exchange show that opened in Delhi yesterday. The show was titled 'KINDNESS: UDARTAA' and it showed the works of over 100 artists, writers and musicians.

Acrylic on canvas
30 cm X 30 cm (each)

Acrylic on canvas
73 cm X 100 cm

I was driving but stopped mesmerized by the slow haste of the sheep walking... so I began recording their epic journey on my phone camera...

© Dhiraj Singh 2012



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As an art practitioner I work in a variety of mediums, what you see here are glimpses of my many creative projects. If you like or feel strongly something here please don't forget to comment



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