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Modern & Contemporary Indian Art (ASN0003) Modern & Contemporary Indian Art (ASN0003) BALAN NAMBIAR (B. 1937)
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Acquired directly from the artist
Among Balan Nambiar's recent sculptures is a simple variant of the Kannati Bimbam – the sacred mirror of the Great Goddess. Its graceful circle was precisely cut in polished stainless steel and topped by a low, pointed arch. The mirror representing the deity remains her embodiment and shrine. Mounted lightly on a stylized handle that almost turns into a column, a slim pedestal supports it on a smaller, horizontal circle with three conical shapes for votive offerings.
In Kerala, the worshipper on an auspicious occasion is expected to intuit his or her reflection as part of the larger, divine whole. For Balan, the mirror becomes a metaphor and a means towards grasping the universal pervasiveness of things essential in its happening. That mutual connectedness concerns as much cosmic occurrences as mundane conduct, underlying timeless rituals and the aesthetic processes of old and the present, related to theory, science and symbolism, myth and literature on par with personal experience, to ideas and the materials in which the artist contains those. Balan's mirror is quite reflective but blurred, thus rather than displaying a definitive state, evokes the potential of the verge position that can stimulate and accommodate the dual flow.
- Marta Jakimowicz, 2004, in Stainless Steel Sculptures & Enamel Paintings by Balan Nambiar