The Cult of Consciousness

Absence love by Sivasubramaniam Kajendran (left) | Contemplating Drinks by Varad Ajay Bang

The Cult of Consciousness Pristine Contemporary Gallery

The Cult of Consciousness, a collective showcase featuring five South Asian artists, delves into the intricate relationship between art and the human psyche. Through various mediums, it prompts viewers to ponder themes of self-awareness, mindfulness, and introspection, inviting contemplation on the interconnectedness of humanity. This exhibition aims to foster dialogue about the profound impact of consciousness on our perceptions and experiences, challenging visitors to reevaluate their understanding of reality.

Participating artists Varad Bang, Haneen Almoosawi, Shakil Solanki, Ahsan Memon, and Siva Subramaniam Kajendran each explore central themes within their works: The Void and The Light, The Wondering and Wandering Mind, Maya, The Cords of Attachment, Meditations, and Material and Matter.

Embark on a philosophical and artistic journey as you navigate through these diverse artworks. Expand your own consciousness as you reflect on the mysterious connections between art, perception, and the enigmatic nature of the mind.

 The Cult of Consciousness

Recognizing native land acknowledges the deep historical and cultural ties Indigenous peoples have to their ancestral territories. It's a reminder of the injustices they've faced and the resilience they've shown. Family, too, is a powerful bond, shaping our identities and connections to the world around us. Both concepts highlight the importance of understanding and honoring our roots and connections. The works of Siva highlight these cords. Hailing from a post war region from the island of Sri Lanka, his works talk of family, friends, his rural town, the surrounding nature and emotions. His current body of work suggests that by embracing a positive mindset and actively looking for opportunities to learn and grow from negative experiences, one can transform challenges into valuable lessons and opportunities for personal and collective development.

The wondering mind is characterized by curiosity, imagination, and introspection. It's the part of our mind that asks questions, explores possibilities, and seeks understanding. On the other hand, a wandering mind refers to the tendency to drift away from the task at hand or the present moment. This can lead to daydreaming, distraction, or rumination on past events or future scenarios. Wandering thoughts offer insights, connections, and reflections that contribute to our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. In essence, the wondering and wandering mind represents the dynamic and multifaceted nature of human cognition, encompassing both the creative and distractible aspects of our thinking process.

 The Cult of Consciousness

Viewing material as an aspect of human consciousness is a perspective that challenges traditional dualistic views separating mind and matter. This perspective suggests that material existence and consciousness are deeply interconnected and mutually influencing.

In this framework, material reality is not just a passive backdrop to conscious experience but an active participant in shaping and reflecting consciousness. Conversely, consciousness is not solely an abstract, immaterial entity but is intimately linked to and influenced by our physical environment and interactions with the material world. Works by Shakil Solanki highlight the transient yet important role of material in our lives. He paints human figures adorned with ornate jewellery and luxurious drapes drapes set in surreal, intimate tropical gardens.

The Sanskrit word "Maya" has multiple meanings and interpretations. One common interpretation is "illusion" or "magic." In Hindu philosophy, Maya refers to the illusionary nature of the world, where things appear to be real but are actually transient and unreal when seen from a higher spiritual perspective. Maya can also be associated with the power of creation and manifestation, as well as the cosmic principle that conceals the true nature of reality. The works of Varad Bang intertwine the manifestations of the new Indian, the contemporary Indian- who remains both traditional and true to his values- while enjoying and experiencing the beauty and perils of today’s globalised world.

The process of Meditation encompasses feelings of calmness, clarity, and inner peace. When someone is in a meditative mood, they may feel more centered, focused, and present in the moment. This mood is characterized by a sense of detachment from external distractions and a heightened awareness of one's thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

Meditation can help to cultivate a positive and tranquil mood that can carry over into daily life, promoting overall well-being and emotional balance. Ahsan Memon’s subjects are at peace or in a meditative space. Of joy, happiness, despair, loneliness or loss. As one navigates through these artworks, one is encouraged to let their own consciousness expand and reflect upon the profound interconnectedness of art, perception, leaving you with a deeper appreciation for the intricate beauty of human consciousness.

The show is scheduled to take place at Alliance Française de Delhi from May 10th to May 19th, 2024.

Words Platform Desk
Date 06.05.2024