When artists create something, those particular art works reflect the shadow of their thoughts, reality of their fascination towards life, and the reason behind their very existence.
The perception behind the artist’s creation, most of the time, is totally different from that the onlooker’s. Moreover, the relationship of an artist with his/her creation is quite a complicated topic to comprehend.
Mohinder K Puri’s works do not seem complicated to the beholders and that is what makes him different from other artists.
A striking fact about his paintings is the firm composition without the plethora of structures. A subtle use of colours turns his fascination into reality for which one can easily find forms delicately woven into each other in his creations. Those forms depict human relationships and music– his fascination.
He is so fascinated about music that once he wanted to be a musician. It is unfortunate that he could not turn his dream into reality for Triveni Kala Sangam in Delhi denied him admission. But that did not end his love for music. He turned towards Fine Art to create music.
Born in Quetta, Pakistan, in 1938, Puri moved to Dehradun in 1953 to learn Fine Art. Later, he joined Triveni Kala Sangam and studied painting under the supervision of KS Kulkarni. His work on music is his most beloved and most acceptable work so far. Perhaps no one has ever created music through painting as Puri has, which in itself is a marvelous achievement for an artist.
Moreover, his paintings are known for creating dialogues through distinctive expressions demonstrated in them and Puri attributes all these expressions to his interest in music, theater and dance forms. Also, human relation and behavior has remained as the other central theme in the artist’s creation. One can easily see human forms depicting emotion such as pain, pleasure, joy and sorrows in his creations.
There was a time when Puri admired Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. He never refused to accept that his works were influenced by Picasso, his all time favourite. But later he realised that his own identity was getting washed out under the influence of Picasso. So he quit painting and devoted himself to ceramic sculpture and murals.
He learned that art in 1960s, when the medium was not yet to evolve in India. It was a small mural job that brought him to Delhi Blue Art Pottery and he came in contact with S Gurucharna Singh, the father of studio pottery in India. Later, S Krishnan, then well known art critic, declared him as the first sculptor in India to use ceramic for sculpture. Human head is the main theme of his ceramic works. He says, “Human head is a mine of expressions, which provides flexibility for experiments.”
Recently, MK Puri represented India at the ‘China Hangzhou G20 International Art Exchange Exhibition’ at Hangzhou Qianjiang International Art Museum in China. The theme for the G20 art exhibition this year was ‘Peace, freedom, and environment protection’. Two of MK Puri’s paintings with the theme of Yoga and Meditation were selected for the exhibition. The works were semi realistic and attributed the Indian flavour.
This is not the first time that he represented India at an international art exhibition, in the past he has represented the country at exhibitions across the world including Second Havana Biennale in Cuba, Exhibition of contemporary Indian art at Cuba, Mexico, France, Yugoslavia and Myanmar.
He was awarded a gold medal at the Olympic Fine Art Exhibition in Beijing, where he had been specially invited by the Olympic association to represent India. MK Puri, 78, still feels energetic and enthusiastic. He thinks there is a lot left to discover, “Although I have represented India across the world in various art exhibitions throughout my life, each new invitation to represent India enthralls me and inspires me to showcase India depicted like never before, especially the rich culture and heritage our civilization has. This enthuses me and I feel as a fresher to the world of depicting my thoughts on canvas.”