Published: 14th July 2018
Don't miss Queerala's Homomorphism II, an art exhibition on same-sex intimacy in Kochi
Homomorphism II, the exhibition at Kerala History Museum explores same-sex intimacy through art
True art makes you uncomfortable. It's confrontational and makes you question all your preconceived notions and judgements. And all the artwork which will be exhibited at Homomorphism II abide by the same trajectory. Organised by Queerala, a community-based organisation for the Malayali LGBTQIA+ community, this exhibition which is being held at and in collaboration with the Kerala History Museum, Kochi, will exhibit the works of seven artists from varied backgrounds. The theme that runs along their work explores same-sex intimacy and also compels one to confront their homophobia. This exhibition, which will be inaugurated on July 14, will conclude on July 21, 2018 and is a continuation of the first Homomorphism art project held in 2015.
Other artists who will be showcasing their art at this year's exhibition are Pragya P, Aishwaryan K, Santanu D, Sandeep T K and Jijo Q
To get a real feel for the art, we decided to get in touch with some of the artists. Mahesh M from the Idukki district used to paint a lot when he was in school and then, life happened. But art did not desert him. Jijo Kuriakose, the founding member of Queerala, saw his work on Facebook, got in touch with him and that was that. Through the 12 art pieces that Mahesh has painted for this exhibition, he depicts same-sex intimacy through the romance of hands and legs. "People usually use facial expressions and body language to express romance, but I wanted to explore it in a different way," says the self-taught artist who is also a full-time software engineer. So after returning from work, he would sit down to draw and paint his thoughts on paper until the wee hours.
On display: One of the works by Arvin O
But this journey has not been easy as the 29-year-old, who turns 30 this August, has also been ridiculed because of his art. "It was Jijo who inspired and encouraged me to pursue my art," he shares. About the exhibition itself, Mahesh says, "This exhibition is for the whole of Kerala, not just the queer community. It is a stepping stone and a significant contribution towards the community," he concludes.
While some of Mahesh's works are pencil drawings, he is also exhibiting his art pieces where he has used both paints and pencil. He usually takes four to five days to finish one artwork
We then had the chance to speak to Mauritian artist Arvin O who is exhibiting 15 of his acrylic paintings, including those he collaborated with Santanu D for. Exhibiting his work since 2009, Arvin has been working on these art pieces for more than a year. While one series represents how hand gestures can show trust, celebration, creation and varied other emotions, which can be interpreted in several ways, another series includes traditional music instruments. "For this exhibition in particular, we have used instruments like ghatam and others in our paintings," says the 33-year-old. After pursuing his Master's at Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal and working as a lecturer at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Mauritius, he came to India through the Indian Council for Cultural Relations Scholarship. This exhibition is his first experience with the community here.
For more on the event, click on queerala.org or call 8075645060