Gajah Gallery proudly presents Singular Moments, the solo exhibition debut for emerging Singapore-based artist Mahalakshmi Kannappan. Kannappan’s work has become increasingly recognized across the region for her unique application of charcoal on canvas. Her monochromatic works undergo many stages of production to bring out the material’s inherent beauty, each exploring countless textural possibilities.
Kannappan’s practice seeks to identify, amalgamate and distort different materials as a continuous inquiry into their properties, and through experimentation she seeks to discover what can and cannot be controlled. As the artist describes, these are reflections of “how these changes are accepted and accumulated” – the unpredictable responses of the materials further building upon the inexplicable nature of change.
Through her body of work, Kannappan has focused on and sought to portray the characteristics inherent in the medium of charcoal. Some of her works have smooth exteriors, with rough staggered layers of charcoal barks hidden within, whilst others have copious sheets of charcoal dynamically set across their surface. For this exhibition, Kannappan has also expanded into three-dimensions, showcasing a few sculptural pieces created in her iconic medium, for the first time.
As an earthy material, charcoal is mainly composed of carbon, an element which serves as a primary component of all known life on Earth, and can be analaysed in order to determine its host’s age or time period. To Kannappan, this property of charcoal reveals itself through her works, as a physical representation of ‘singular moments’, now frozen in time.
Since completing her Diploma in Fine Art at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Kannappan has exhibited in numerous group shows across Singapore and Indonesia, including the 3rd Jogja International Miniprint Biennale in 2018, The New Now III: Convergence at Gajah Gallery in 2019, and S.E.A. Focus 2020, amongst others.