11 April – 26 May, 2019

Double Bounce

THUKRAL & TAGRA solo exhibition



Singapore—Pearl Lam Galleries is pleased to present Double Bounce, a solo exhibition featuring painting, sculpture, installation and film works by Indian artist duo Thukral & Tagra. Launching the Galleries’ new space at Dempsey Hill, the artists will transform the exhibition hall into a compound of inventive, playful, and thought-provoking works. The exhibition continues the artists’ reinterpretation of Indian mythology through the vocabulary of ping-pong, while simultaneously pondering the meditative and spiritual aspects of play. Beginning from the notion that a ball cannot bounce on the same side of the court twice, the titular concept of double bounce frames the exhibition through the delicate balancing act involved in everyday existence.

The exhibition opens with an ethereal, enigmatic painting, Buddha – Study II, a serene landscape composed of partial bits of sky, clouds, and mountains. Pivoting around the image, a warm gradation of orange emphasizes the circular form of the work, suggesting a cyclicality and impermanence to the scene. Alluding to Buddha, the divine being intrinsic to an understanding of Indian mythological texts, the work contemplates the universal tendency in many traditions to think of spirituality in an allen compassing, non-denominational sense.

Anchoring the exhibition, Mythological Induction narrates the story of Kalki, the final incarnation of Lord Vishnu, reducing prophecies and characteristics of the avatar into possible logical relations. With poignant insertions of visual cues and suggestive metaphors drawn from a diverse range of cultural references, the series of paintings transforms the conservative form of the Venn diagram into a visceral viewing experience. Probing the unconventional connection between the spiritual and the mathematical, the series reflects on how society is conditioned to think about God and prayer.

Stretching across the central space, Lullament is a kinetic installation comprising ping-pong balls softly rolling to-and-fro along steel tracks, accompanied by the gentle hum of fans. The central motif of the ball as an unsettled being, ever-moving and evolving, extends the metaphor of ping-pong to everyday life. As the therapeutic push-and-pull motion develops into a soothing rhythm, the work induces a restorative effect on the viewer, invoking the use of lullabies in easing one through the transition between wakefulness and slumber, between life and death.

In contrast to the languid movement of Lullament, the film Present Continuous foregrounds the tension involved in the act of balancing one’s game as one meanders through existence. Mundane day-to-day scenes in the city are punctuated by the action of a rapidly bouncing ping-pong ball, mirroring the ticking of time or the beating of a heart. The arbitrary, prosaic passage of time is thus juxtaposed against a relentless temporal awareness. Played continuously, the film blurs the notion of time into an indistinct loop without a clear beginning or end.

Addressing mythology, spirituality, and the nature of existence through the terminology of ping-pong, Thukral & Tagra’s works rejuvenate traditional narratives and symbols to give audiences a fresh understanding of cultural matter.

Selected works