Kamalnayan Bajaj Art Gallery is excited to play host to Rachna Toshniwal, Asha Daga, Annuradha Toshniwal and Vidur Sodhani – a family of artists whose work will be on display at their unique show ‘Zen and the Art of Entanglement’.
This is a truly intersectional show – combining the diverse yet complementary artistic practices of these four artists into a breath-taking whole. Using the tenets of Zen Tangle art – one that invites spontaneous expression and mingling, these artists wonderfully amalgamate and fuse together their different styles.
The creative idea behind show is to highlight what these artists believe to be the two primary artistic impulses: nature and nurture. Natural motifs, distilled patterns, images of the lived environment, and impressions of found materials form the language of the visual text; and the familial connection of these artists – as mother-daughter, sister-aunt, brother-nephew, and niece – ascribes to the art their enmeshed social and cultural roots. This is the underlying concept behind the show – to unite zen (the peace that comes from the creative process) with entanglement (familial bonds that hold these artists together).
Exchanging techniques, materials, prints, and images with each other, this family of artists achieved zen and completed the entanglement through their pen and ink, printed and photographed works. Black and white emerged as a common theme linking their different styles, with splashes of colour highlighting their individual oeuvre. The process of connecting, collaborating, and co-creating was spontaneous, unfettered – echoing the Zen-like quality of a beginner’s mind. And the final visual output of the artists reverberates the zen paradox of finding silence amidst complexity.
Zen tangle is a mode of free-flowing structured drawing is believed to have therapeutic effects. “The art of Zen Tangle gives me a lot of relaxation and pleasure. Watching the whole composition come alive without any preconceived design is truly a magical process,” says Annuradha Toshniwal, who was introduced to this art form two years ago. Since then she has brought her own style to this art form, exploring and experimenting with various mediums (like coffee), surfaces (wood, canvas, and metal) and textural components (beads and hot glue), thereby elevating the technique in her own special way.
For 76 year-old Asha Daga, art is a way to immerse her mind and motivate her soul. Daga has taken the essence of zen tangle and transformed it into her own unique style that she calls Zen Art. In her images, she captures the movement, beauty and music of nature. Describing her experiments with the pen and ink form as “a poetry of patterns”, Daga explores her love for nature through Zentanglement, as she does with other art forms she practises. This love runs in the family, as Rachna Toshniwal’s passion for the environment indicates.
As a dedicated environmentalist, Rachna Toshniwal’s works display her interest in found materials. By collecting natural and other objects and using monoprinting and collage techniques, her artistic expressions capture the spontaneous, the random, and the surprising that she finds in nature. Realizing that this artistic outlook is also shared by her aunt and mother; she urged them to bring their talents together in collaboration.
This curiosity and urge to experiment is an impulse familiar also to her cousin Vidur Sodhani, who uses his photography to investigate both the odd and the ordinary. Keeping with the Zen theme of the exhibition, Sodhani uses his photography to represent simplicity and demonstrate the passage of time as seen through nature, art and architecture across ages, and abstract ways of approaching the mundane. “For me, the exhibition is an expression of creativity, freedom and coming together of family. What came about as a chance opportunity to participate in a show, ended up being hugely inspiring, and motivated me to discover precious spots in and around Delhi,” says Sodhan