Saturday, April 11, 2015


Thought behind the thought
We all strive to achieve perfection. Try to fill in the gaps. Try to take things to their logical conclusion. But isn't it far more exciting to leave things a little incomplete?
A film that ends just before it actually does, leaves a gap that we fill up with our imagination. And each one of us is free to fill it the way we want. So that many stories are created out of the same story! Sentences left unfinished linger on in the mind, with added layers from our imagination. Visits to people and places that are cut short for want of time leave us hoping for more. And completing the scenes with our infinite imagination thinking to ourselves ...." What if ????"

About the Art
The sense of 'incomplete' makes art really exciting! Like these horseman sculptures created by the Beijing based group of the three artists Liu Zhan, Kuang Jun and Tan Tiawei known as Unmask Group.

The Beijing-based group, a creative formation of Liu Zhan, Kuang Jun and Tan Tianwei, masterfully constructs their hollowed, incomplete sculptures out of stainless steel and marble. The almost-abstract figures leave just enough of the sculpture intact to make the solid figure clear. It's the exclusion of certain parts that add a hint of intrigue. There is also an odd oneness to each sculpture that allows the human figures to melt into and meld with the horse's form. It's hard to tell where one entity ends and the other begins.

Friday, April 10, 2015


Thought behind the thought
Crosswords are fun! But at times, they really try your patience. Words just don't seem to agree with each other. They refuse to sit next to each other, or if they fit in, push others out of their way, leaving empty spots. But one just has to persevere. Finally, there comes a word that sets things right. And the whole puzzle just falls in place at once.
Just like life .....

About architecture and Design
Crossword lovers would surely like to see this happening in their neighbourhood!

With a large crossword puzzle installed on the side of the structure, this building in Ukraine has an address that no one can get wrong. Created as a part of a city-wide art installation, clues to the puzzle are scattered all throughout Lvov. You'll have to find them one by one if you're hoping to solve the giant crossword. Designed as a way to encourage people to visit the town's interesting locations, they're distributed among popular city landmarks, like theaters, monuments and museums.

How do you know if you got the answers right? You'll have to wait till nighttime, when the combination of the installed lighting system and the fluorescent paint fills up all the boxes with the correct answers. Measuring 100 feet in height, it is truly a sight to behold, especially when set against the backdrop of the evening skies.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015


Thought behind the thought
Chemistry was one subject that I simply couldn't befriend at school. All the chemical formulae and equations, quite simply, puzzled me. I just could not balance the information and make sense out of it. Somehow, I did swim through the curriculum but it left a gaping hole in my brain!
Looking back now, a good thirty years since I last met Chemistry, I think she taught me some important life lessons! That you always need to balance out seemingly unrelated things .... or they balance themselves out eventually, even if you can't figure out how! And most importantly, she taught me that "Reaction" is everything. It runs the whole show. Whatever the action, the reaction is what leads to the final outcome. And that is so true with life.
How one reacts to words, events, people, situations ... determines the final outcome of your life. Not what happens to you, but how you react to it. That is everything!

About Art and Design
The concepts that once seemed so difficult to understand, are depicted here in such an innovative way! That is the power of graphics! It can turn abstract ideas in to something very interesting and easy to understand! I wish our text book illustrators took a clue or two from these amazing science illustrations!

Pablo Bustos AKA Wirdou (the creator of these fantastic illustrations) is a young designer from Madrid, Spain. He's a total geek, and loves anything related to the world of gaming, movies or TV shows. He majored in Biology some years ago, which explain his many science-related designs, with a special focus on mixing pop culture and science.

 Freddie Mercury

 Heavy metals

Noble gasses

Krypton Man

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Wirdou: Fun science by Pablo Bustos

the lake

Thought behind the thought

Lakes are mysterious entities. Unlike a river, that flows and connects with people along the way, a lake seems to be content with herself, lying still at a place, engrossed in her own thoughts. People who come to her banks rarely ever see the secrets she hides at the bottom. Revealing nothing of herself is probably what the lake is successful at doing.The only thing they get a glimpse of, in the surface, which is merely a reflection of her surroundings!

About art and design

Lakes have been important as a source of water to human civilizations. More so in areas where rainfall is low, and water is a scarcity throughout the year. the western state of Rajasthan in India is one such dry and arid region that depends on stored water for sustenance. Artificial lakes built on the streams and rivers of Rajasthan are excellent examples of traditional rain water harvesting practices. 

What is more important is that a totally utilitarian concept has been made so beautiful by the people of Rajasthan!

Pushkar Sarovar is one of the oldest lakes in India. In fact, it is believed to be the starting point of Yuddhisthira's pilgrimmage in the Epic 'Mahabharat' A lot of inscriptions found at archaelogical sites prove Pushkar's existance since olden times (around 4th century B.C)
It is also one of the most important piligrimmage centres for Hindus, as the temple of the Creator Bramha is located here.

The town of Pushkar is picturesquely situated on the lake, with the hills on three side, the sands, drifted from the plains of Marawar, have formed a complete bar to the waters of the lake, which has no outlet, though the filtration through the sand hills id considerable.The form of lake is irregular elliptical. The lake is fed from the Nag Pahar. Bathing ghats have been constructed round the lake.

Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats (a series of steps leading to the lake), where pilgrims throng in large numbers to take a sacred bath, especially around Kartik Poornima (October–November) when the Pushkar Fair is held. A dip in the sacred lake is believed to cleanse sins and cure skin diseases. Over 500 Hindu temples are situated around the lake precincts. The ghats (steps leading to the lake) are not just utilitarian design elements, used for bathing and religious rituals, but an exercise in visual art, Architecture and Landscape design.

Like many other examples of regional architecture of the Indian sub continent, the Pushkar lake brings together people, culture, art and design seamlessly together in a vibrant built environment that respects and enhances  the environment that it is born and lives in! Something that we Indians must look at in this age of environmental crisis. It will be surely worth revisiting our roots and absorbing the wisdom of our ancestors from these relics of Indian design culture.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

dreams and reality

Thought behind the thought
It is popularly believed, and scientifically proved, that dreams are made up of bits and pieces of real life that are stored in the subconcious. The events of the day, the people we meet, the feelings and emotions we experience all surface in the form of surreal dreams that are at once real, and at the same time, unreal.
I wonder at times, whether it may really be the other way round! What if our real life is a reflection of, and put together with, bits and pieces of our dreams? That too linked up in a weird sequence? What a surreal thought!

About the art
The concept of surrealism - that dreamlike state, which we feel is real, has inspired great works of art. Apart from paintings (Salvador Dali being the foremost Surrealist painter who comes to my mind), Surrealism has found it's way into other visual and performing arts too. Cinema has very effectively used this concept to entrance it's viewers in to a world of make believe.

The video below shows glimpses of the surreal in cinema from 1920 to 2010


Imaginary worlds so vividly brought alive!

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Monday, April 6, 2015

straight lines and circles

Thought behind the thought
We look at life as a linear progression, from childhood to youth to old age. We also look at many processes and chains of events as irreversible, a one-way affair. We are so fond of laying down straight roads, writing between straight lines and straightening out our problems.
Why is it then, that we end up running in circles all the time???

About the art
Lines and circles have fascinated artists for centuries, and are two of  the basic elements that make up a visual composition. Abstract paintings are at times, pure exercises in putting together these elements together in a visually stimulating way. Like these very interesting compositions by Wassily Kandinsky, one of the greatest abstract painters of the 20th century.

composition, 1923

Trained to be a lawyer, Kandinsky gave up his successful career to devote himself totally to painting. Kandinsky due to his active creativity and organizational skills always attracted anything intellectual, restless, striving, which was in the world of art of that time. In 1901 he founded Phalanx, an art group, in Munich and started a school, in which he taught himself. He, along with other members of his group arranged exhibitions, in which, according to the artist, "the accent was made on revealing associative properties of color, line and composition.

 black and violet 1923

 Blue 1923

Circles in a circle 1923

Opposing the Constructivist artists, who lay emphasis on exact analysis of materials for their constructive arrangement or setting, Kandinsky said that "Just because an artist uses 'abstract' methods, it does not mean that he is an 'abstract' artist. It doesn't even mean that he is an artist. Just as there are enough dead triangles (be they white or green), there are just as many dead roosters, dead horses or dead guitars. One can just as easily be a "realist academic" as an "abstract academic". A form without content is not a hand, just an empty glove full of air".
 in the black square 1923

 parallel diagonals 1925

unequal 1932

After joining the well-known Bauhaus, Germany (the Higher school of construction and art designing), he again taught and developed his ideas. They dealt, first of all, with the deep analytical study of separate elements of a picture, which resulted into "Point and Line to Plane" in 1926. Kandinsky also worked much and experimented with color, applying his analytical foundation and the conclusions in his teaching. Kandinsky's works again underwent changes: individual geometrical elements increasingly entered the foreground, his palette was sated with cold color harmonies which, at times, are perceived as a dissonance, the circle is used differently, as a sensual symbol of perfect form.

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Sunday, April 5, 2015


Thought behind the thought
We all have an optimistic corner in our hearts, where live our desires and our hopes. And they are yearning to spring to life. At times, for years they lie in wait ... for the right time, the right season, the right situation. And when the winds of change blow and bring with them a changing season, they come alive and blossom!

About the art
Spring has figured as a prominent theme in all Indian art, whether it is painting or music or theatre. There is something about spring that Indians cherish and 'Vasant' or 'Basant' as it is called in the Indian subcontinent marks the beginning of a new year in almost all parts of India. Festivals associated with this season are vibrant too, reflecting the fresh greens. reds and yellows that appear on the landscape.

Spring depicted in these miniature paintings reflect the joy associated with it in Indian culture

Vasant Ragini, Raagmala -Rajput painting 1770

Deccan Paintings - Raga Basant, Golkonda, circa 1690-1700, National Museum

Raag Vasant - Bundi raagmala- Rajput painting

Raag vasant - Kangra raagmala

Ragini Vasant Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai

Ragini Vasanti

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