My work highlights beauty of life amidst violence: Artist Seema Kohli

By Bhavana Akella

Bengaluru, Aug 16 (IANS) Renowned artist Seema Kohli says that at a time when there is so much hatred and violence in the world, she likes her work “to depict the beauty in life”.

“There are many artists who take to dissent through their work, reflecting on the negativity in the world. But I am an artist who must take my own path. As human beings we have ruined and killed many forms of life and have done all kinds of damage we possibly can, but in spite of all the wrong doings, is the earth stopping? That’s the reason even with a lot of hatred and violence, my work talks about beauty, love, happiness, creation and procreation,” the Delhi-based artist told IANS here.

Kohli was in the city for a narrative performance of her work titled “In Silence the Secrets Speak” at the National Gallery of Modern Art.

“Of course there’s a lot of hatred in the world and social changes are important, but I have channelised my interest in life and I always look inside of me. Everything I see around is throbbing with life,” added the artist, who is known for her works that discuss faith, gender and mythology.

“In Silence the Secrets Speak” transcends mediums by bringing together her digital art along with sound and dance.

“As a creative person, you can have your medium of thought as words, dance or as a painting. Somewhere down the line, there’s a crossover between the mediums that’s inevitable. While I was working on a 10×24 ft painting titled “In Silence the Secret Speaks”, I kept writing my thoughts on loose sheets of paper. Later, I decided to put the words and the painting together with sound as a performance,” Kohli explained.

Having exhibited her works across the world at the reputed Venice Biennale, Kochi-Muziris Biennale and many other international art fairs, the artist was felicitated by the Lalit Kala Academy for her contribution to contemporary Indian art.

Known for highly vibrant hues in her paintings, she “doesn’t like to call herself a writer” even though she has been writing for many years, she said.

“I don’t think like a writer. My grammar is my image. I am only a multi-disciplinary artist who uses different mediums. I would draw on paper and move it to canvas and from there to a sculpture or an installation. It’s not a shift of mediums, but rather a flow. As an artist I must be as light as air to enter any space and become that space,” Kohli elaborated.

Of the art scene in India, she opined: “People are becoming more and more open. There’s a lot of experimentation happening (in art) which brings a lot of new blood into art. When we travel abroad, we see more and more Indian artists representing our country.

“There is a lot of interaction between the contemporary, the tribal and other arts happening with artists tracing their roots and trying to get to the nooks and crannies of India.”

(Bhavana Akella can be contacted at

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