‘Journey of the Dragonfly’, an ongoing show by the artist Babu KG from Thrissur takes place in Sweden and celebrates the tropical forest and its inhabitants
The surreal blue leaves on the Elephant Ear cradle shimmering water drops in ‘Mystique’. A scarlet dragonfly floats dramatically over it; In ‘Nilavu’, (moonlight) a man and a woman sit between blue foliage and a pond with fish and frog changing paper boats. ‘Harmony’ celebrates the forest’s countless colors.
These are some of the works that are part of “Dragonflyen’s journey”, a solo show by the artist Babu KG at Vasby Art Gallery, north of Stockholm, which runs until 10 October. A detailed depiction of an evergreen tropical rainforest and its inhabitants, the effervescent images and colors of these canvases have created a definite impression in Sweden, known for its minimalist style.
The show was conceptualized by the artist and curator Dorina Mocan, who says that “the Indian artist has had a great influence on the Swedish public. She was introduced to Babus’ art through her student, London-based Nisha Dilip. After talks and research, the show was organized despite the limitations caused by the pandemic.
Moonlight by the Indian artist Babu KG
An elated Babu, speaking from his hometown of Thrissur, Kerala, says, “I can not believe we could remedy this during the pandemic. Surprisingly, it was not difficult. “A work from the same series is also shown on the ongoing Lokame Tharavadu at Alappuzha. Another ongoing work is a 40 x 15 foot mural in Mandalay Hall in Jew Town, Kochi.
Babus cloth is wide; at first, the story seems obvious but enriched with deeper interpretations. His forests are populated by indigenous people who coexist with elephants, deer, frogs, butterflies, birds, dragonflies, tigers … together they walk in the grass around the trees, bushes and bushes. Dewdrops shimmer on leaves like silent pearls and the moonlight is a mysterious glow. His world is far from the materialism of daily existence. In fact, the light shades and ugly images are subtly layered and combine a subliminal mystique with the real.
Harmony by the Indian artist Babu KG
Babu, who dropped out of school and grew up near a forest, looked closely at the forest people and their lifestyle. When his brother married a girl from the tribe, he discovered more of their close relationship with nature. These became the language of his story. Later, the people he interacted with become characters in his storytelling.
The colors speak for themselves
While green is a dominant color, blue plays an equally important role as a background shadow in the color of the sky, mountains and water.
“The dragonfly is present in all my works; it is the signature of my soul, ”says Babu. Its eyes are large and its wings are transparent; when you have such a clear vision, an inner and an outer vision, then you will have an open mind “, he explains and adds that the forest people live with nature and thus acquire a” divine aura “. Each work is lifted by the philosophy behind it. “We are like trees,” says Babu, speaking metaphorically of the connection to nature. Indirectly, the works convey how man has tipped the fragile balance between nature and humanity.
Ten of the 28 works in the exhibition range from four to seven feet in size, as Babu likes to work on a large canvas where he can “include the whole world in it”. “It’s a fantastic feeling to be accepted by a country like Sweden, because it chooses its art very carefully,” says Babu, extremely pleased that the show introduces its part of the world to audiences far away.
Internationally, Babu has also exhibited his works at Busan – Art – Fair 2014, South Korea and done two works for the Chinese Ministry of Culture the same year. In 2015, he exhibited a work by a mother and a child in Pittsburgh, USA