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P. Jayakani

Chennai, India Born 1957
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Attained a Diploma in painting from the Government College of Art and Crafts, Chennai


Selected Group Exhibitions

New Works by P. Jayakani, The Noble Sage, London (2010); 'In the Fore', The Noble Sage, London, (2008); Gallery Sri Parvati, Chennai (2007); Chennai Excite, The Noble Sage Art Gallery, London (2006); Padappai Artist Village Exhibition, Vinyasa Art Gallery, Chennai (2005); Tamil Nadu Oviam Nunkalai Kuzhu Exhibition (1996-2003); Art Festival, Chennai (2001); Solo Exhibition, Little India Gallery, Chennai (2001); Regional Art Exhibition, Chennai (1996-7); Government College of Arts & Crafts Alumni Exhibition (1996); Regional Art Exhibition, Lalit Kala Akademi, Bangalore (1995); All India Exhibition, Lalit Kala Akademi, Lucknow (1995); Regional Art Exhibition, Chennai (1992-4); All India Art Contest, South and Central Zone Cultural Centre, Nagpur (1993-4);Government College of Arts & Crafts Alumni Exhibition (1992); National Exhibition of Art, Lalit Kala Akademi, Kerala (1992); 5th Rashtriya Kala Mela Exhibition, Mumbai (1991-2); Soviet Cultural Centre, Chennai (1991); United Painters Association Exhibition, Trichy (1989)


Selected Awards

Avanthika Group of Contemporary Artists Association, Delhi (1998); All India Fine Arts Society, New Delhi (1997); National Exhibition of Art, Lalitha Kala Akademi, Kerala (1992)

Contemporary South Indian artist, Jayakani, has two overlapping interests: first, his fascination with the urban landscape, the great cities of the world, places in India as well as Singapore, Malaysia and the United States all cities he has never visited. Jayakani is mesmerised by the citys chaotic atmosphere: the interplay of concrete, steel and stone, the skyscrapers juxtaposed with the shantytowns, the architectural mix of ancient and contemporary structures, the verticality of buildings versus the horizontal curves of train lines and flyovers. Jayakanis second obsession is with the underwater world. He gazes for hours at the aquarium in his living room and studio. The movement of the fish underwater is to Jayakani similar to the bustle of humans in towns and cities. He enjoys capturing their variety (no doubt a metaphor for the diversity of humankind) as they glide or dart around their environment. These two subjects overlap greatly in Jayakanis work, especially in his enthralment with the end of the world and the after-effect of a catastrophic natural disaster such as a tidal wave or earthquake. He is utterly involved with how our world would look if it were in ruins under the sea. In many of his paintings, he imagines that with all humankind dead, fish will become the only inhabitants of those cities that we cherish so much and take for granted everyday. In Seascape XII (undated), this idea is handled with a fairytale naiveté, the underwater kingdom looking like a magical wonderland worth giving up our lives for. The collage and mixed media work, Seascape X(2005), is an excellent example of Jayakanis exuberance and energy. A vast variety of mediums are incorporated from regular biro to felt-tip pen, acrylic to oil paint. Although one might presume that these works reference the devastating 2004 tsunami, in actual fact Jayakanis fatalist absorption dates back several years. The artist states, I would say that in my paintings I saw the tsunami first on the horizon. I was not surprised when it came.