Tensing Joseph’s art, which is on display at Alappuzha, is a metaphorical reflection of life and nature

Tensing Joseph’s art is an eye-opener for all. Climate change to the philosophy of life, his works lay bare many human follies

author_img Steni Simon Published :  01st December 2021 10:39 PM   |   Published :   |  01st December 2021 10:39 PM
Tensing's art installation of a newborn child created using 1,500 small pieces of wooden blocks hanging on nylon fishing lines

Tensing's art installation of a newborn child created using 1,500 small pieces of wooden blocks hanging on nylon fishing lines

There is a greater meaning beyond what meets the eye in artist Tensing Joseph’s works displayed at Lokame Tharavadu, an ongoing contemporary art exhibition in Alappuzha. One of his remarkable works is an art installation of a newborn child created using 1,500 small pieces of wooden blocks hanging on nylon fishing lines.

Explaining the idea of his installation, Tensing says, “‘The Logic of Umbilical Cord’ is based on the principles of the human living system that turns biologically independent by cutting off the umbilical cord of a child. The prototype form of a newborn baby is made with small wooden pieces. The baby is born from the woman’s womb and the shape of the pot and the mass bear a resemblance to the uterus. The pot and the abstract shape of the baby are depicted as symbols of human birth.”

Tensing says the umbilical cord and the baby’s body are a metaphor. A representation of the growing stage of a child. “As the child grows, he acquires new knowledge, learns about his origins and surroundings and learns to see things rationally. These philosophical and biological contradictions of man are represented in the art,” says Tensing who completed the installation in six months. 

The small pieces of wood are hung in a darkroom illuminated by carefully placed lights. The installation is magical to look at, subliminal even. Each movement ripples through it while the scream-like sound of animals and humans fill the room.

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“The density and each movement of these thousands of odd pieces seek to create an innovative visual possibility. The constant screams of humans and animals heard from the pot are depicted as a symbol of survival and struggle,” shares the artist.

The versatile artist and sculptor based in Thiruvananthapuram works on any surface or material with ease. His larger canvases, murals and sculptures are done in granite, wood, metal, and fibreglass. Apart from the installation, 29 woodworks and 12 paintings by the artist are also displayed at the venue. 

The colourfully crafted structures that resemble paintings can catch anyone’s breath. The vibrant imageries are also an eye-opener to the struggles of the common people and land ravaged by climate change. Concepts of deforestation fill his works. Beautiful trees and plants fill the art space with humans wreaking havoc on nature while birds, even colourful vultures bear witness silently.     

“These works focus on various ecological issues caused by global warming. For instance, an artwork portraying a birdman with a suitcase focuses on climate change and its harmful effects on nature. All these issues have been transformed into contemporary art,” says Tensing, who has exhibited his works at both national and international platforms.

With over 30 years of experience in the art field, Tensing has a keen eye for detail and his works convey a strong statement of socio-political, and especially cultural and artistic issues. Currently, the artist’s solo exhibition showcasing 40 works have been displayed in Moonspace Art Gallery in Houston, USA.