In the hopes of starting an artist community, Cipin Valsan curates a Nirvana-themed exhibition
Appreciating elegance in asymmetry isn’t that hard. Imagine photographing a perfectly raked garden, not a blade of grass out of place, with an ancient Banyan tree at its centre. Trimmed hedges, zero broken twigs, and no irregular bark. What if a gentle autumn wind rustles the Banyan’s branches and leaves scatter underneath its otherwise immaculate canopy? That run-of-the-mill Instagram image, almost instantaneously, transforms into a postcard-worthy frame.
This concept of finding beauty in the blemished is a deeply personal one for Cipin Valsan, a Thrissur-based self-taught artist. After the success of his four-city solo-presentation titled Meet My Imperfections, he now hopes to build an artists’ community. “As a positive step to initiate this, I’m curating an exhibition titled Nirvana Undefined with 12 Malayali artists, from various walks of life. All of them express themselves through distinct mediums: from surreal glass paintings to poetic calligraphy,” begins Cipin, who used to double-up as an assistant director for Malayalam films like Kohinoor.
Cipin whose works now adorn the walls of cafes (and households) across Kerala, as they are sold through his online art store, Enlightened Jamun, wants budding artists to experience the same financial freedom. “The community is more than just about giving them ‘a pat on the back’, it’s about making art a viable profession through a solid support system,” explains the 28-year-old, adding, “Though I’m an ardent lover of Buddha’s teachings, the curatorial decisions were made after multiple workshops in order to familiarise Aparna S, Ashish M, Ashwin M, Devika, Jenwin B, Hari G, Nidhin Joseph, Indulekha, Prajwal X, Thahir N, and Thomas J, with the notion of Nirvana.” Twenty per cent of the proceeds from the sale of these 40-plus ‘imperfect art pieces’ will go to the CMDRF and the #RebuildKerala effort.
From October 2-7.
At Durbar Hall Art Gallery.