‘Hard times bring their own inspiration’ - how these MayinArt artists persevere with creativity during the pandemic
The pandemic is a time for contemplation and reinvention. But making artworks cannot be defeated, according to these resilient artists.
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 535 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.
Founded by Krish Datta and Avik Bandyopadhyay, Singapore-based MayinArt is a digital platform to showcase Indian and Southeast Asian art. Images of some of these artworks have been reprinted in this article series with permission from MayinArt.
See our extended coverage here, with pictorial highlights and artist insights. The artworks are priced from a few hundred dollars up to around $3,000.
“We always tell artists that they should believe in their own creativity and style. It takes time but they should express themselves spontaneously,” Avik Bandyopadhyay explains, in a chat with YourStory.
“At the same time, it is good for artists to take feedbacks and evolve. A learning, listening, and thinking artist almost always makes it,” he adds.
“There is no jackpot, there is no success formula. But consistency and an evolving style which gives an artist’s his or her own identity often leads to success,” Avik suggests.
“Art is the exploration of the soul. It is an expression of what I see, hear and feel,” explains Indonesian fine art photographer MA Roziq.
He has exhibited his works in Indonesia, Singapore, Italy, Australia and Amsterdam. Some of his works involve photographing iced and sculpted objects.
“The definition of success for me is quite simple – namely, when I find happiness and comfort,” he adds. His works span a range of styles, forms and media. He sees photography as a way to express his thoughts and imagination rather than just the act of capturing lights and events.
“The pandemic has actually tested the creativity of artists. It is a moment for contemplation,” Roziq says.
“Work in honesty, and believe that your soul is in it,” he advises, as tips for aspiring artists.
“Art is an illusion of life. Art is immortal. Art is nothing but everything,” explains Kolkata-based contemporary artist Mrinmoy Mondal.
The continuous flow of experience in life gives impetus to his works, which reflect contemporary events and influences. “When one canvas shows the cruelty of war, another reflects rest in an urban life,” he adds.
“Moment of the past, some thoughts of the future, and the certainty of the present are combined together in my works. The dark and light are the most important factors of a painting as those can only project the perception of creation and destruction,” Mrinmoy describes.
He regards success as being able to continue his journey with any kind of creativity. “I started my creativity with pigments as a painter. Now, I am working with light as a cinematographer,” he says.
The pandemic has been tough for many artists. “It changed my point of view of life,” Mrinmoy says. “Love your work. Try to feel the aesthetics, not just focus on success,” he advises aspiring artists.
“Art is not just something mystical and mysterious from an artist, but a reflection of phenomena in daily human life. It can be a reflection of the soul, but also of the anxiety that occurs in everyday life,” describes Indonesian painter and illustrator Meuz Prast.
He is also a project manager at Sidoarum Art House in Yogyakarta. He started off as a figure and landscape artist, and later found his niche in surrealistic and figurative abstractions. Social issues and political struggles are often themed in his work.
Success for Meuz comes from public awareness and discourse about his work. “The sale of works is only a small part of the bonus from the award,” he adds.
Meuz describes his style as technical dualism. “It is abstract art with a touch of realism and impressionism – just as in human life, with two sides like good and bad, or day and night,” he says. Styles and techniques evolve along with the development of human life and soul.
“The pandemic certainly has had a profound impact on art. But no matter what the conditions are, art must never stop,” Meuz affirms.
“Making artworks cannot be defeated by difficult situations. Of course, hard times and obstacles usually bring their own inspiration, and I created several series with the theme of the pandemic,” he adds.
He also offers tips for aspiring artists. “Becoming an artist is not an easy matter, it is very difficult and there are a lot of struggles to go through,” he cautions.
“Consistency in work and exhibitions is of course very important. Socialising with other artists is equally important to build relationships and networking,” Meuz signs off.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new avenues to harness your creative core?