With her unique style, Thai-Indian artist Amonwan Mirpuri hopes to inspire women to stand up for themselves.
Women and the female experience have been inspiring artists for centuries, be it by bringing light to woman empowerment or simply by documenting female life. Among the inspired artists is Thai-Indian artist Amonwan Mirpuri, who, in her recently concluded art exhibition Dear Women, paid tribute to all womankind, which has been abused, suppressed, and assaulted forever. The exhibition took place at the Method Art Space in Mumbai’s Kala Ghoda area.
“I wanted to celebrate both individual and collective feminine power, that is resolute as well as supreme,” says the artist, who was born in Thailand but has roots in India. She notes that Indian women have been suppressed for ages and crimes against women in India are known everywhere, which is what inspired her to bring her work on women’s identity here. “My work aims to inspire women to reclaim and stand up for themselves. This is really needed in India,” she opines.
A fashion school graduate, Mirpuri is known for making mixed media art paintings and sculptures. And just like she breaks the rules of art with her ideas of abstract art and surrealism, she hopes for women to break the shackles of oppression and redefine the relationship between the restricted self and freedom. The artist emphasises the need for a sense of self and identity to do so. “It is an ode to women who have lost their innate powers, strength, and voice, and have succumbed to exploitation and oppression,” she explains.
Inspiring women to reclaim and stand up for themselves through her art, Dear Women shows the journey of a woman from a submissive subject to a conqueror using four walls — The Wall of Disruption; The Wall of Acceptance; The Wall of Healing: Kintsugi ‘The Art of Precious Scars’; and The Wall of Reintegration —Turning Trauma into Triumph. The depictions of the painful journey of abuse and trauma makes the piece a remarkable representation of the female experience.
“I want women to remember their innate powers and raise awareness about how we can all take responsibility and work as a collective to create a new space of inclusively,” the artist asserts.
The Wall of Disruption shows the first stage of trauma for a woman: Blaming herself and her oppressor. Mirpuri uses abstract art to represent a woman’s inner conflict as well as her feeling of isolation and hate towards the world. While the scratches and noisy lines of charcoal on a portrait of a woman represents her rage and anger, a sculpture with chipped faces demonstrated the occurrence of domestic violence.
“I, in fact, chose the plaster that represents the strength in women, but at the same time so delicate that we are not able to handle it with care,” says Mirpuri, who is inspired by her past work and the women she is surrounded by.
With The Wall of Acceptance, the artist tries to show self-reflection and moving away from the space of victimisation. “It’s an interaction between energies, the transition into a new space of creation, and a conscious decision of moving on because we can’t choose the traumas that happens to us, but we can choose the power it holds over us,” she explains, adding that The Wall of Healing and The Wall of Life too proposes the idea of being kind and gentle to yourself. “Because we are all going through the same journey in different forms, and one needs to be easy on life,” she shares.
With quartz sprouting from the cracks on the sculptures’ faces, The Wall of Healing signifies the idea of self-healing. According to Mirpuri, the idea of the wall was inspired by Kintsugi – the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery using gold, silver, or platinum.
“It speaks about how healing is solely our responsibility and only we can activate that within us,’ she elucidates. Similarly, The Wall of Life depicted the last stage of healing, using flowers to connect women with nature. “I wanted to communicate that we hold creative energy to procreate and generate that resembles nature. It also signifies the idea of returning back to the self,” muses the artist in conclusion.