Richard Koh Fine Art Bangkok (RKFA)
Jul 01 - Jul 22, 2023
All images by courtesy of Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA)
Curved organic shapes and golden celestial orbs appear floating in deep expanses of blue hues. Sinta Tantra’s practice explores the transformative potential of colour and form both in terms of physical and psychological spaces – her works invite us to connect more deeply within ourselves and our environment.
Canang Sari/ Flower Offerings, 2023, Tempera and 24ct gold leaf on linen, 120 x 80cm
A Composer in Two Worlds, 2023, Tempera and 24ct gold leaf on linen, 80 x 100cm
Reincarnation / Prussian Expanse, 2023, Tempera and 24ct gold leaf on linen, 180 x 140 cm
All you could hear takes the Balinese festival of Nyepi – a day of silence and meditation – as its starting point. The title comes from a letter Tantra’s father wrote to her on the evening of Nyepi, in which he wrote: ‘The whole island is so dark, beautiful and quiet …no street lights… all you can hear are crickets.” Drawing on this vivid image of home, Tantra explores the meditative qualities of making and viewing our relationship with nature and the universe.
All of the paintings in the exhibition follow a vertical format, an orientation typically used in traditional Chinese scrolls and paintings. As Tantra notes, ‘Western and Eastern traditions have different ways of viewing, not only in terms of how we read text and images but also in relation to our concept of time. The Balinese calendar, for instance, revolves around the lunar rather than the solar cycle. After death, we are reborn again, reincarnated.’ Circles form a recurring motif in Tantra’’s work, creating a focal point and playing on the symbolism used in meditation practices, but they can also be seen as cosmic – planets or even solar systems, the emergence of the moon in a midnight sky or its slow fading at the first break of dawn. By contrast, the undulating shapes and organic forms in Shadow Movement, Canang Sari, and Golden Celeste appear more earthy and tropical – abstracted flowers or perhaps the shadow movements of dancing bodies.
Artist Sinta Tantra (b.1979, New York, US) is known for her colourful large-scale public artworks and geometric paintings. Living and working in between her two studios in London and Bali, Tantra’s artwork occupies multiple dimensions and scales. Her canvas shifts comfortably from a bridge slicing through the urban skyline to a stretched linen frame produced within the intimate setting of her studio – each artwork is an abstract blueprint for her utopian aspirations.
Born in New York to Balinese parents, Tantra grew up in London and studied art at the Slade School of Fine Art (2003) and at the Royal Academy Schools (2006). Within her work, motifs derive from Western movements such as Bauhaus, Art Deco, modernism and abstraction. Her Balinese identity within the post-colonial context is central to her work. The drawings of 20th-century Balinese artist, architect and stone carver I Gusti Nyoman Lempad have informed explorations into two-dimensional lines and three-dimensional space. Her pop-tropical colour palette draws from the culture and environment of Bali.
Portrait of SINTA TANTRA. Photo credited to the artist