Radhye Shyam Mulmi

Radhye Shyam Mulmi’s surrealist works depict the artist’s quest for peace and harmony with objective correlative of visual images.  Shivalinga, Buddha, lotus, etc. are the recurrent images in his paintings. The images and figures are merged and melted suggesting coexistence, harmony and rhythm. One cannot draw the clear line between different constituents present in the canvas. Lotus petals melt into water below. Likewise, the fish melt into water. Feathers of the birds melt into the women’s body as in dream. The sky melts into land, and land into sea. All the images are plural and playful. Flowing, rhythmic and unbroken lines, images and colours connect every figure with all the other ones. The images are put together in unexpected manner. The flying bird and fish also appear together. Human beings, the creatures of land appear to be flying in the sky.

Although contrary images are juxtaposed with free association, they coexist in harmony and spontaneous rhythm. Two birds seem to be communicating some secret intimately. Birds and human characters coexist in friendship and intimacy. Both big and small fish are playing spontaneously in carefree manner.

The combination of images depicts some of the teachings of Buddha after he achieves nirvana, they are, equality in all living beings, and kindness and love toward them. The merging and melting of one living being into another represents the equality between them whereas the intimacy, friendship and caring of one to another represents love. Through such relationship and attitude, human beings not only achieve the peace in their mind but also create harmonious society. The facial features of the human characters, the style of clothes and the use of ornaments are other native elements incorporated in his works. The dominant use of blue colour is coherent and cohesive to other images in the sense that both of them suggest peace and serenity.

Shivalinga and the figures of lord Shiva are also recurrent images in  Mulmi’s paintings. Mythologically, the Shivalinga is unfathomable. In other words, the whole universe is within it. He also reintegrates figures of divinities and religious mantras in the same canvas reconciling the vision and textuality. The presentation of vision and textuality, or visual images and verbal text is the significant aspect of his works. In the first view, it seems as if contrary images are put together. However, the close reading and the interpretation of the composition reveals that the arrangement of the images and icons is coherent.

His works depict the sense that the brahma is beyond duality, and it is in cosmic rhythm and harmony as represented by spontaneous and flowing colours and lines. The sadhaka, who realizes the existence of Shiva, knows truth, and who knows truth, he/she perceives beauty. In the English poet John Keat’s word, ‘Truth is beauty and beauty is truth’.

The patterns of lines and shapes are especially striking in his works, for they create the spontaneous rhythm, flow and music. As the eyes move along the flowing lines and colours, they provide the visual comfort of carefree and adventurous journey in the new land. As a result the rhythm of this sort has become his distinct signature.

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