Unknown family portrait
Watercolor on rice paper
44.6 x 117.3 in
SIJI KRISHNAN Born 1983 in Kerala, India
At an experiential state, Krishnan’s paintings are rich with the texture of the surface that she meticulously prepares with smooth over-layering of fine rice paper on canvas. The paper lends an organic quality to the painting that is reminiscent of the brittle quality of dry leaves, and the tautness of stretched hide on a mrudangam. This surface is then layered with gentle tones of pale watercolors. Slowly, as the image assumes intensity, darker layers are added and sometimes scrubbed in, to create undulations on paper, almost like wrinkled skin. The surface arrests the dark interiority of incubatory spaces. This process of modeling with paint is so frail, that it blends and seals into one single surface of cloth paper, as a membrane reverberating with a lot that has been firmly secured in it.
The starting point of this exhibition is ‘Lullaby’, a series of frames with images of a father on a cot, playing with an infant daughter. These delicate images evoke the vulnerability of all image forms that exist in the deepest layers of our experiential memory. The act of painting becomes a process of drawing out (extracting) forms from a pool of fluid sensations. Many reminiscences, of lived moments of childhood, again and again, are projected physically on the rumbling surface. The act of drawing out becomes drawing and spilling these sensations on the surface of the work.
Courtesy of Roy Thomas