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War and Peace

War and Peace

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I wanted to dedicate this painting to the unique and unpredictable times we live in. We stand at a crucial juncture, and every decision we make—rooted in our intentions, thoughts, and actions—echoes through the astral realm. If we are indeed living in a matrix, what parameters define the scope of our consciousness? Do we choose peace or violence? This artwork explores the interplay between India and China, symbolized by Gandhi and Mao, whom I see as the foundational figures of these two nations. Tibet, nestled between these countries, rightfully belongs to Lord Buddha, who watches from above, beyond the Himalayan peaks. India sends out a celebratory wedding party, while China advances with army tanks. Who will prevail, and how will victory be achieved? This narrative is encapsulated within a yantra, a flattened mathematical representation of the building blocks of life. The colors used are inspired by those I have seen in Buddhist monasteries around the world.

Additional notes: Using Michangelo's 'Creation of Adam' painting as a metaphorical anchor, Ketna Patel has composed a contemporary re-interpretation between God and mankind.  Under the invisible but ever watchful eye of the Divine (represented here by Lord Buddha), the composition is showing two protagonists of modern Asia in symbolic positions. India is represented by a bare chested Mahatma Gandhi, who is vulnerable in his defencelessness as he is lying down on his back.  China, on the other hand (represented by Mao) is in a threatening standing position, therefore having the upper hand.  India is (naiively?) sending out celebrationary musical parties on horseback.  China, on the other hand has its army tanks on standby.  How is one to interpret the outcome of this snapshot? Could this moment be the creation of war, or would it indeed be the creation of peace?  We do not know what the future holds. 

Background:  For the longest time, this region has been claimed by the spiritual and the politicized.  It is a place of worship, but unfortunately also one of exploitation.

Inspired by many travels in the Himalayas, Ketna was in particular very moved by Dharamshala, a town in the mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh. This is one of the biggest Tibetan towns in India, and has become the headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile.  From here, they hold daily vigil; the town is full of billboards and murmurings of political activism.  The Dalai Lama has continually expressed his gratitude to India for their care and support.  After her long stay in this area, Ketna has composed several paintings on this subject.

As a homage to the sacrifice and turbulent history of Tibet, this painting has been rendered using the dominant palette of red and saffron.  These also hark to the beautiful Thangka paintings of Tibet, which have inspired the artist tremendously. Compositionally, The Sun's life giving energy, emanating from Lord Buddha's holy halo is trickling into the bottom half of the composition, culminating in a mountain of orange red.  This symbolizes the sacrifices of the Tibetan people in exchange for the considerable amount of extracted minerals.  Red, yellow and saffron are also the colour of Tibetan robes.


Each Fine Art Print is titled, numbered and signed in Ketna’s handwriting. Depending on each composition’s ‘personality’, colour spectrum and destined geographical location, the Artwork is printed either as a C-Type print on Fuji gloss paper or as a Giclee print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag paper. (For humid countries e.g Singapore, C-type Fuji paper is advised as it is does not let moisture and mould through) All Prints are made at the most accredited and reputable Printing studios in London, Singapore or New Delhi, using the best quality fine art archival paper available. The studio meticulously keeps account of each numbered print, including when and who it was sold to, so there is no chance of duplication. Each Fine Art Paper Print comes in an edition of 50, so for the three sizes, the total prints ever made will be 150. Each Metal Print comes in an edition of 25, so for the three sizes, the total prints ever made will be 75.   Each Acrylic Print comes in an edition of 10, so for the three sizes, the total prints ever made will be 30. For each composition, there are up to 5 Artists Proofs for colour and production quality checks. The total edition for each artwork is therefore 260. Each Print is made to order. Please allow 10 working days for delivery.

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