Use of light in tradition and celebration is aworldwide occurrence. People associate festivity and commemoration with ambient flame and glowing light. India has always been a country full of light, colour and celebration. From weddings to traditional celebrations, we even have a festival of lights- Diwali! Light art in India hence has a deep history and great prominence.
The importance of light is especially seen in Indian weddings; string lights decorate the homes even before the wedding begins. Light plays an important role in the ambience of Indian weddings, providing warm tones that are especially unique.
Diwali is India’s festival of lights, celebrated every year between the months of October and November. It celebrates Hindu gods and goddesses and the victory of light over darkness. Diwali lanterns are special, they are common during the festival and hung up in every home to mark the occasion. During these months, you see neighbourhoods lit up in festive warm shades, and lamps lit every evening. Diwali is an example of India’s traditional association with light.
Light and new media arts have gained recent prominence in the western world, especially Europe. Light festivals in Amsterdam or Prague, even Singapore have started showing a new breed of artists. These artists create installations and sculptures with light, design and modern techniques such as video mapping. In this post, we decided to highlight some Indian artists that are distinguished in the field of light art.
Shilo Shiv Suleman
For Burning Man 2014, Shilo Shiv Suleman created an immersive interactive installation, ‘Pulse and Bloom’. Pulse and Bloom is a name to be taken literally; it mimics your heartbeats in light when you touch it. A 50 feet installation with 10 lotuses, this installation is like a bridge between the conscious and the inanimate. The installation ‘beats’ lights in sync with the people, realizing life into art. Suleman has also founded an art activism collective, ‘The Fearless Collective’ and is the creator of an iPad interactive book.
Vikas Patil, ALBA Lighting Design
ALBA Lighting Design by Vikas Patil is a team of lighting consultants that work on lighting design and light installations. ALBA has displayed at Vivid Sydney 2016 and Amsterdam Light Festival 2015. Bands of Friendship displayed at Amsterdam, are rainbow coloured rings placed in a line. They appear different from different angles and represent support and togetherness.
At Vivid Sydney 2016, DNA by Vikas Patil and Santhosh Gujar was a 4-foot multicoloured installation in the shape of a DNA strand. Changing rainbow colours continually, the installation was meant to be viewed differently from each angle.
Vibhor Sogani is an Indian artist and is a renowned for public art installations and sculptures. Among his most famous is the steel sculpture, ‘Sprouts’. Sprouts is a 40 feet installation in New Delhi, representative of India’s innovation and growth.
Anish Kapoor is a world-renowned artist and most famous for Chicago’s ‘Cloud Gate’. Anish Kapoor is of British-Indian origin and is among the top artists in installation art and sculpture. Another popular work of Anish Kapoor is ‘Sky Mirror’ in Rockefeller Center, which looks as if a chunk of the street is from another dimension.
The Story Of Space
In November of 2017, Goa hosted one of India’s small but nascent light and installation festival. The Story Of Space was primarily centred around learning about space; it used immersive installations and experiences as an aid to create a conversation around the science, philosophy and politics of space. The installations coupled with films, talks and workshops created an all-around captivating ‘learning playground’.