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Brave Singh

February 15 - 27, 2020

On Life, Landscape, and other Shifting Things

Despite that time is largely an abstract concept, it is manifested by all things around us: from the shift of night to day, to the changing of seasons, to life’s manifold transitions. Everything is touched and transformed by time. It is what gives meaning to life. Without these shifts, nothing in the world will be possible.

Time is the invisible element that weaves through the works of Brave Singh in his latest exhibition, Continuum. In this suite of paintings, landscapes, the main subject of the artist’s oeuvre, are set against the dramatic colors of the sky, depicted at different times of day, to evoke the continuum through which changes take place subtly and imperceptibly, presenting different versions of beauty.

These landscapes are infused with a certain mood, a certain emotional tone, reflecting the interior state not only of the artist that has painted them but also of the viewer who is gazing at them. The transforming agent is light: a landscape can take on different coloration and effect in a given day.

For instance, the diptych Ebb into Sunset presents the same landscape at two different times, one in the mellow light of the afternoon, the other in the fiery light of an emerging dusk: two scenarios with two distinct atmosphere and ambiance.

As if to state that the shift in time is not merely confined within the space of the scenery, drips of paint, if not the painted landscape itself, bleeds onto the frame, warbling it, transforming it. This progression from the painting to the frame, from art to real life, is also in itself a manifestation of time.

For Singh, the landscapes are not so much pieces of scenery as metaphors for life: they encapsulate how nothing in the world is permanent, that what seems to be an imprisoning predicament is only an illusion of the mind, and what seems to be a debilitating darkness may be miraculously replaced by the sudden and unannounced break of dawn.

“Our night may turn into day, the darkness may soon be bathed with light, and sorrows may be soon replaced with joys,” the artist states. “But amidst of it all is the incessant will of men to thrive and continue living.” Continuum is a reminder that impermanence and change can also be a source of solace and strength.

– Carlomar Arcangel Daoana