Kulpreet Singh: Artist with a Cause
Kulpreet Singh, is a young emerging artist from Patiala, Punjab who works with a tremendous energy. Most of his work can be defined as a visual commentary of current events happening around the country and the world. With a revolutionary approach Kulpreet through his work poses some serious questions about how societies are being manipulated to accommodate few affluent while as neglecting others.
Born in February 1985 Kulpreet perceives art as an essential medium which can be molded into a significant and expressive tool to stand against social and political bias. In a statement he explained his journey as an artist saying, “In the last twenty one years of my life, I have been a wanderer who has meandered through a diversity of very singular experiences in travelling through villages, cities and metros. I endeavored to understand the values people live by, the structures that define their lives, and internalized the textures and dimensions of life, nature and society”. Adding that, “My introspection and close observation of these is amply visible in my art work which is sometimes surreal, sometimes stylized and decorative and at other times minimalistic and conceptual. Due to fluctuations that life has brought during my wanderings, my thoughts have evolved at a fast pace”.
Kulpreet’s work is not restricted to any particular medium of art; he chooses a medium according to his subject, a medium which could express him more clearly and vibrantly. “I have often been asked, ‘What is your medium?’ My medium is not merely painting, drawing, sculpture, print making, videography or photography etc. My medium is art itself and I use the materials as per demand of my subject. In my early years of interaction with art, I used to talk of art through its material forms and this was reflected in my work as well. Gradually I have realised that though the medium is of significance, without a subject, the object has no existence. And that is how I have transitioned to subjective work from objective work,” Kulpreet said in a statement.
Kulpreet finds his influence in his surroundings, from an ordinary looking wall to a flowing stream he brings together day to day visuals and its reflection is seen in his art work. He observes incidents which constantly happen around us that we choose to ignore. He sees everything as an act of art which is constantly analyzing and expressing itself through an unusual yet common approach.“The truth is that moving through different places, experiencing small and naturally occurring incidents and revelations, has altered my inner self. Nondescript surroundings have created varied internal impressions. I have found meaning in observations such as the peeling layers of color on a wall after wetness, moss around a drain pipe, staining of a wall by an oily head, contouring of a much used pillow, etching of names on old walls or tree trunks, enlarging of a name on a tree bark as it grows.” Says Kulpreet, adding that, “Doors in our homes which are for passage and windows for light, allow fascinating designs and shadows to occur as light flows in through the wire mesh, grills and glass. All these, along with the tonal variations and shadow of patterns caused by the movement of earth, are art which occurs due to natural and non-natural activities.
The undulating shape of water, lines running through bricks, cracks in an old building usurped by a growing sapling, seeds transported by birds and animal waste to distant areas, repeated imprints of tyres and hooves on unpaved villages paths in rain, rustling of leaves and whistling of billowing breeze, apparent melting of forms in summer heat, withering away of grass from trodden paths- these are all parts of natural and non-natural activities and these occurrences softly express the socio- economic, political, religious and geographical practices of a place. As art, these seemingly innocuous yet very artistic happenings became a part of my consciousness; my work underwent a noticeable change. I seek to understand and actualize them in my art as an ongoing quest.”
Kulpreet is one of the few Indian contemporary artists who is bold enough to use his skill and creativity to question the powerful. His art work becomes the voice of weak and oppressed who are otherwise unheard and ignored.
About his recent Artistic performance “INDELIBLE BLACK MARKS” Kulpreet Singh writes,
There are countless uprisings for human rights around the world. Immorality is opposed, or so to speak, in a way that is morally unjust and oppressive.
When the mischievous miscreants become part of the agitators and start throwing stones at the crowd, it was just a stone from them, if they look back they will find out that the rain of stones they have done has darkened the hearts of countless people with stains that may never go away.
The human heart and its emotions are very tender. Due to such incidents, it does not take long for both the parties to be tainted. The original objective of the fight for our rights has turned into a riot. History has shown that no society has ever benefited from such activities. Through this artistic performance, I am trying to highlight the heart-rending horrific consequences of unintentional activities and show the mirror of the results to those immoral people in the hope that perhaps the conscience of any one of this mob of stone throwers. If he wakes up and changes his mind about his wrongdoings, then I will consider this art performance a success.
“INDELIBLE BLACK MARKS” by Kulpreet Singh can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcRrwoOaY70