Artist Manjunath Honnapura on the role of space in a frame

Apr16,2024


An untitled work in the Reconstruction Art series by artist Manjunatha Honappura

An untitled work in the Reconstruction Art series by artist Manjunath Honappura | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Artist Manjunath Honapura says, any creation has the aspect of positive and negative space. “I believe both are important. In all my recent works, the background space seems a bit empty, but it gives prominence to the main object.

The National Award winner is currently holding a solo exhibition of his work titled Art of Reconstruction in Bengaluru, showcasing his most recent works. Created over the past year and a half, the nine works on display show a different side of the artist's creativity.

“I enjoy exploring and experimenting with new materials and do not limit myself to painting materials – colours, paper and canvas. For this series, I created wooden box frames with a depth of 2.5 inches. “I have used blind embossing paper as well as metal rods and pins, pieces of wood, leaves and flowers,” says Manjunath.

Artist Manjunath Honappura

Artist Manjunath Honappura | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

For those who don't know, blind embossing creates a raised design on paper without the use of ink. For this process, two dies or engraving tools are made – one with a raised design and the other with a recessed design. By pressing the paper between the two, a raised design is made on the front side and a raised design is made on the back side.

Pencil drawings and paper boats also appear in his work. Manjunath admits that his agricultural background may be the reason why trees often feature in his work. “It's not intentional, but I believe I can make a statement subconsciously.”

Certainly, subtle color and shading dominate most of the works in the series, while leaves and trees make an impact. Manjunath says he chooses the titles of some of his works “to help the audience enter into the conversation about what the piece is about.”

On the Road Stories of Reconstruction Art Series by artist Manjunath Honappura

On Road Stories of Reconstruction Art Series by Artist Manjunath Honappura | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“In Reconstruction Art, I have experimented with the concept of art. I enjoy putting two opposite things together to see how they go together, in the hopes that it will inspire others to think differently too. I believe that artists should expand the possibilities for different ways of looking at art.

He admits that the series was both interesting and challenging. “I spent time with Medium working on my R&D. A lot of trial and error was involved. Working with moving parts and experimenting with new elements is not as simple as painting on paper or canvas and then framing your work. It has been a journey.”

Manjunath, who hails from Honnapura in Tumkur, was first encouraged by his teachers to pursue art when he was in eighth grade. His parents agreed on the condition that he completes the twelfth grade. Same thing happened in Kannada film Karadipura The film was being shot in his village and the film's art director Rajappa Dalvei, who had seen Manjunath's drawings, convinced his parents to let him start work only after the tenth standard.

An untitled work in the Reconstruction Art series by artist Manjunatha Honappura

An untitled work in the Reconstruction Art series by artist Manjunath Honappura | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In 2006, Manjunath graduated from Bangalore University with a PG Diploma in Painting and has since participated in group and solo shows both in India and abroad. In 2012, he was part of the South Asia Artists' Imagining Our Future Together series by the World Bank. The works of 25 award-winning artists from South Asia are on permanent display at the World Bank in Washington DC and Manjunath's works are one of them.

His work titled Look at Me, using prints, painting and drawing, won him a National Award. Now, his Art of Reconstruction will travel to Jahangir Art Gallery, Mumbai later this month.

The art of reconstruction will be on display at MKF Museum of Art till April 23, 2024,

Scenes from the Art of Reconstruction series by artist Manjunatha Honappura - front and back

Scenes from the Art of Reconstruction series by artist Manjunath Honappura – front and back. Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Playing Your Own Dice from the Art of Reconstruction series by artist Manjunath Honappura

Playing Your Own Dice from the Reconstruction Art Series by artist Manjunath Honappura | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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