Galerie Kashya Hildebrand is pleased to present Prana: The Life Within, Nobina Gupta’s premiere exhibition with the gallery and the first presentation of her work in Switzerland.
Nobina’s practice has been influenced by Indian Aesthetics in combination with Taoism and Zen Buddhism. The development of form, space, color and composition in her work are all informed by these perspectives. As she explains, “I have been seeking to understand this life spirit – the flow of energy which pervades the whole animate and inanimate, organic and inorganic world. I want to focus on the prana, or the life spirit that unites and connects every element in this universe.” Nobina’s work embraces the energy of transformation but reminds us that this energy has its own momentum. Through microscopic visions of details, Nobina focuses on macroscopic concepts of life, the environment and the life energy that drives life and the physical universe as a whole. On the one hand, her work allows us to tap into this energy system and interdependence, while on the other hand, these connections encourage us to constantly reconsider how we can become more aware of the movements of prana.
Nobina’s works facilitate a viewing experience whereby the viewer, in the absence of easy interpretations, is drawn into the energy expressed through form. Her desire is to create a visual language that communicates the presence of prana. The visual and evocative impact of Nobina’s work remains pregnant with references to the physical world. Her work elicits the same kind of disorienting effects as looking through a microscope, where the world is both strangely unfamiliar and startlingly familiar. In this uncertain space, her works, which can look both like a cell dividing or a sun exploding, unite the micro- and the macro-cosmos; what links them is the energy patterns that move through life on all levels. Her desire is to put the viewer in touch with the energy flowing within that connects with the energy of the universe. This processes of discovering, of recognizing and traveling along the sensuous surface of materials creates the sensation that things are and must be in flux – and that all things are united in that flux. It is this common underlying difference and the device of misrecognition that enables seeing one thing as another. In this way, her works emphasize a constant transformative evolution and are asking for the strata to be peeled and probed.
In seeking prana, Nobina’s work creates an embodied encounter that embraces the vitality of contemporary life but metaphorically encourages visceral and physical (re)connections beyond the individual self.