COEXIST

90x160x1 cm 

MDF and coloured cellophane 

2018

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‘Coexist’ celebrates the coexistent nature of being of the Hindus and Muslims during the Mughal rule in India, decades ago. India is the land of many cultures but the two that have left their mark with their distinctively contrasting artistic symbolism are the Hindus and the Mohammedans.

 

While cohabiting under the Mughal dynasty, they had come to considerably influence each other's thoughts and customs leading to a new medieval breakthrough in art, architecture and culture that came to be called as 'Indo-Islamic'.  

 

This installation comprises of two laser-cut panels showing and celebrating the artistic qualities of their individual religions, while coming together through shadows. Lotus is a holy symbol in the Hindu cultural heritage. It symbolises beauty and purity as it grows in mud but never touches it. The unfolding of its leaves represents the expanding and awakening of the soul. The complex geometry is sacred to the Islamic culture and it symbolises the infinite nature of Allah. 

Both of these symbols, so contrasting in their shape, representation and symbolism had come together in harmony to coexist in a cultural society.

 

The window is a window that frames the society, frames the world. The window lets you perceive the existence of these cultures as of today, their coexistent nature.

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Light is shunned on both panels, one with the Hindu symbolism and the other Muslim, individually for the shadows to merge in the middle and depict an Indo-Islamic nature of patterns.

 

It is through the medium of light that we perceive time. The alteration of day and night constitutes a change in light. In the sense that I wanted to represent the time, the centuries these cultures spent together on one land, coexisting and merging.