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  • The Business Times, September 8 2005

    Parvathi Nayar's In/Roads chosen for Jakarta's CP Biennale

    Roads as ubiquitous points of reference and connection in today's transitory urbanscapes that's what BT arts correspondent Parvathi Nayar wants to highlight through her paintings at the upcoming CP Biennale in Jakarta.

    Painting is a strong and lasting passion for Nayar, who has been actively involved in the local arts scene since 1988. She will be Singapore's sole representative for the art show, which starts on Monday and will include exhibition and a two-day symposium. This year's biennale carries the theme Urban/Culture, whereupon participating artists - and their works - are expected to reflect on urban development in Third World cities.

    To this end, Nayar has submitted a visual installation titled In/Roads, comprising 12 paintings separated into two parts. A 'corridor effect' is created if the six large canvases (80 cm by 120 cm) are hung facing the smaller ones (35 cm by 30 cm), with a 'road' of about 250 cm between them. This arrangement aims to evoke the sensation of passing through a distorted, blurry mass of urban denizens.

    'If the two 'walls' on which the paintings are hung are too close together, they will not permint the viewer to step back and look at them. If they are too far apart, there won't be a relationship between the two parts,' explains the painter-journalist. 'The corridor effect also suggests the very purpose of this installatio: roads and people.

    Housed in the neo-classicist Bank Indonesia Museum, this year's event has also been expanded to include architects, aparts from the usual selection of visual artists. It will see participating artists such as China's Fang Lijun and Yue Minjun, as well as Japanese architectural group Atelier Bow-Wow.

    Video art may comprise the bulk of exhibits at this year's prestigious Venice Biennale, but painting is slowly making a comeback.

    By Ngiam Ying Lan

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