Korean Cultural Centre’s latest exhibition titled “Silent Voices: Words End Where Truth Begins” features the artists who suffer from bilateral sensor neural loss — they are unable to speak or listen to a voice like normal human beings. The exhibition aims to provide a platform to these artists to showcase their artistic talent. However, it is not this aspect of the exhibition that strikes one most as a viewer but the compulsive view of life which permeates in the works on display.
The portrayal of life by these artists is not in anyway different from that of ours, in spite of their physical shortcomings. The 47 works on display alludes to the subtlety of ordinary yet mundane experiences of the artists and invites the viewer to interrogate their works through their visual voices.
Upon entering the show, the viewer will find the gallery’s wall which has extracts about Buddha’s relation to silence and truth on it alongside a poem written by Croatian poet Miroslav Kirin: It is no longer a tongue, it is a huge calf’s liver / Of the calf we slaughtered yesterday / Assures me the butcher of my favourite butcher shop / But I didn’t go to the butcher shop / And neither do I have a favourite butcher shop / It is my tongue that has fallen out of my mouth / This huge liver / I’m putting it back pushing it into my throat / I give up when I realize that it is choking me / My tongue falls out again / Hangs onto me creeps up my neck licks my body.
Delhi-based artist Dhaneshwar Shah, who is the curator of the exhibition says, “In society, the art exists as a universal language and functions to enhance our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. The art fulfills the basic human need for creative self-expression. The process of creating allows the artists to explore their questions of identity and understanding”.
One particular work that stands out among the others has three women — half human with torso of horses. Entitled, Women like Horse, the piece was done in 2013 by Indian artist Divanshu Gupta.
Among the participating artist are Ankur Singla, Divanshu Gupta, Himan Baruah, Ram Raghubir Mishra, Sonal Garg, and Vipul Mittal. The convoluted rendering of each piece being exhibited has a unique quality of its own.
About the disability of the artists impacting their art, Shah says, “All normal humans can paint and understand art. But if you are suffering from some kind of a disability then of course, it means that you are unable to explore the world and its knowledge like a normal human being. Due to their disability, these artists do face some problems in their daily lives. Yet they take it as a challenge and are able to produce great artworks because they have different experiences in life than a normal person.”