Inspiration, imagination, investment: why Namu Kini founded KYNKYNY as an online-offline platform for artists
In this photo essay, we showcase some of the diverse artworks at an ongoing exhibition in the Bangalore International Centre and share insights from curator-founder Namu Kini.
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 380 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
Inaugurated earlier this year, the new building of the Bangalore International Centre (BIC) hosts one of the city’s newest art gallery spaces. This weekend, the gallery is hosting a group exhibition titled ‘Autumn,’ with a diverse range of paintings, folk art and installations by 24 artists.
The exhibition is organised by art platform KYNKYNY.com, co-founded by husband-wife duo Namu Kini and Vivek Radhakrishnan in 2004. “KYNKYNY is a play on my last name Kini, and means the sound of bells. It is unique and memorable, and has a nice ring to it,” jokes Namu, in a chat with YourStory.
“Autumn reminds us that we are constantly developing and changing,” Namu explains. While focusing on the impermanence of life, autumn also highlights the importance of savouring the past and preparing for the future.
The lineup of emerging and established artists includes Raghava KK, Shilo Shiv Suleman, Shivani Dugar, Bhaskara Rao Botcha, Manish, Chavda, and Suresh Kumar. Their artworks are priced from Rs 25,000 to Rs 8 lakh.
The artists showcase their diverse interpretations of change and evolution through abstract works, mystic pieces, meditative floral works, fantastical imagery, and textured canvases, as featured in this photo essay.
KYNKYNY.com’s model blends an online gallery with physical exhibitions. Targeting first-time buyers as well as seasoned art collectors, the company helps patrons with advice on building an art collection and connecting with the artists. Over the years, KYNKYNY.com has featured original works from over 300 artists, and ships their artworks across India and overseas.
In addition to the exhibition at BIC, there are workshops on painting with master artist JMS Mani, and a children’s workshop with Raghava KK.
“Most artists don't get the respect and support they need. Once an artist is a part of the KYNKYNY.com family, we create many more opportunities for them to exhibit their work in world-class galleries and interact with collectors from around the world,” Namu explains.
Over 45 artists from across India are currently represented. “We look for inspiring and talented artists who tell authentic stories,” she says.
The e-commerce site was launched in 2006. “With being online, the world is your oyster,” Namu enthuses. The quarterly exhibitions and artist workshops add more value to the entire experience of buying and collecting art.
“Art isn't just a mere investment or wall decoration. It has the power to move you every time you view it. It can evoke emotions, bring back memories, and tell new stories. I am very proud to be associated with the arts,” Namu says.
Her mother-in-law, Dominique Radhakrishan, is an art collector. “It was while I was living in her home for a few months that I first developed an interest in art. She introduced me to a few artists and that’s how it all began. I was only 25 years old at the time, and was surprised at how humble the established artists were,” Namu recalls.
“Attend as many exhibitions as you can and go early, before the crowds. Take your time and develop your own opinion,” she advises audiences and art fans. She calls for more popularisation of museums and art fairs, and more corporate support for the arts.
As trends to watch in Indian art, Namu points to performance art, artificial intelligence art (AI art), and installation art. “Find your unique style and statement. Be authentic,” she advises aspiring artists.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule, and see how to make art an interest as well as an investment?
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