View In Room
View In Room
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions: 38.1cm (H) x 54.6cm (W) x 0.3cm (D) / 15" (H) x 21.5" (W) x 0.12" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
A close friend of mine grew up at her grandfather’s house along Boat Quay, Singapore. That is a very different place today. But the river is still there. At it’s back, the institutions of power and wealth loom large. The migration of people from their homes creates memories as intangible cultural wealth at a macro level. At the individual level, rememberance leads to longing and melancholy. Many cities are sites of creation of cultural value and melancholy at the same time. Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks shows people in the same place, isolated from one another and with no way out, creating a landscape of menace and tense suggestion. I decided to try a gentler approach. Like Hopper’s diner, there is no
visible exit for Carol from the river bank. She is separated from a cluster of dwellings on the far side. I chose to keep the features diffused and soft. The tropical light and the languor of these parts do provide for that. The harsh clarity of Hoppers’ The Automat is a relentless study of a lonely woman. As a woman myself, I insist on a different emphasis. The outdoors dilute that hard edge and the darkness. The river is a barrier, boundary and the page within which her story is written. The buildings might be where her story played out-and is still playing out, at least in her mind. Unlike Hopper, I have hopes. Carol might be able to take a boat to the far bank. She may use her memory to construct a new world or pass it onto another generation. I am endlessly positive.
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Based in: Singapore
I am a watercolour artist. My work reflects my complex heritage and background- as an immigrant, a constant traveller and an inheritor of a highly diverse cultural and ethnic legacy. My formal and professional training has taken me, as well, through metal smithing, fashion illustration and weaving.The fluidity and freedom of watercolour allow me to cross borders effortlessly and give free rein to my instincts.
My subject matter is mostly our urban life, including parks, gardens, suburban towns and travel. I like to capture sites and moments within the cityscape and then provoke the viewer. Who are these people, what are they doing, what is happening on this street and around that corner? No one is ever settled in a city and beyond and before a specific second, something is about to occur or has occurred. There are, too, hidden secrets within dense cities-exotic flowers, architectural surprises, highly creative activities.
I began with Impressionism and its’ basics inform my work. But schools are only boundaries in our minds. I have deliberately chosen a more Abstract flavour, leavened with inputs from fashion, New Wave cinema and the DC comics of our childhood. This is not a pastoral life, the one we lead-it is full of movement, tension, interrogation. We need a different way to view the world and that holds true for artists. My work speaks to and for contemporary urban life and I will continue to experiment in this space. My work has been published in The Rappahannock Review, Anatolious Magazine, 3Elements Literary Review and Paranthesis Journal(forthcoming).
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