P Gnana at Gnani Arts Gallery
Art is very personal, and I think it’s difficult to recommend artists and artwork, because what I like might not be your cup of tea at all. I’m not an art aficionado, but I feel very strongly about this artist and his work. I have two of his paintings in the office and three at home. And they’re the only material things (apart from photos, my sofas from Originals and possibly my bed!) that I would really worry about if the house burnt down.
When I saw the first one I bought, nine years ago, it was really the first time I’d thought about spending money on art. I just fell in love with it. And, I never tire of looking at it.
For all of Gnana’s work, there are two main themes: nature and love. I see his ‘cow’ series as being about that solid bond of humans and nature. With the ‘couples’ theme, (not shown here) each couple is so entwined it shows how close we should be in love.
About the artist
Born in South India (Neyveli) in 1970, Gnana moved to Singapore in 1998. He always wanted to do art. When I ask him how he goes about the planning stage for his pieces, he says he ‘doesn’t pre-plan anything’. The process and subject for his next project will come to mind, and may stay with him for a few days, but the final outcome is always based on the mood and the environment at the time he starts his work.
He also creates sculptures – this was his elective subject at the Lasalle College of Arts in Singapore, where he received his formal training. But he’s now developed it further, working with recycled materials and progressing organically from what he’s found. He uses the ‘lost wax technique’ for which he doesn’t create a mould; once the wax is melted, the desired end product is obtained.
- The artist paints in oils and mixed media; the mixed media in the pieces I bought include everything from cloth to playing cards.
- He has a few favourite pieces that he wouldn’t sell.
- His favourite artists are Jackson Pollock, Andre Masson, Anish Kapoor and Amedeo Modigliani.
- He is inspired by nature.
- Each of Gnana’s sculptures is a one-off.
Gnana and his wife Vidhya (also a co-founder of the gallery) have three children, and are invested in bringing other artists to the fore too. I recently went to one of his exhibitions of five artists from India – extraordinary talent at very reasonable prices. It’s good to have a range of prices in a gallery as buying an expensive piece isn’t always as an option. You might just need a filler that you love for the hallway or bedrooms and not want to spend much.
I am in awe of people who can have a thought and get that in to a physical format either art or sculpture. Mostly without even sketching a plan before. I buy canvasses and even draw an idea before I paint, but it never looks like anything that was in my head! It never looks much like anything really…
They have a warehouse of various artists work in Lum Kong Building, 18 Tannery Lane.
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