“Dancing in Unison” is a result of many months of virtual collaboration between Indian artist Bhajju Shyam and Singaporean artist Sam Lo, made possible through the curation of ST+art India Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in India that works on public art projects. One of the tallest in Singapore standing at seven storeys tall on the façade of Broadway Hotel in Little India, the mural embodies the idea that respect for nature and the environment at large is what will guarantee our co-existence. Every feature in the work extends on this idea of the necessary dance between our urban living and nature.
The tree – an iconic element from Gond art designed by Bhajju – engulfs the urban environment of human dwelling (personified by the windows of the building) becomes a metaphor for the universe where everything is interconnected from the land to the air. Its branches host vibrantly coloured sparrows, an element which reoccurs in Sam’s work, as a symbol of freedom, being one of the most common birds in India and Singapore.
Sam’s deer, a revered animal in India serves as a tribute to Gond art which in this gentle appropriation manifests our contemporary interconnection where elements from different cultures are seen blending together in our globalised and accessible world. Sam further reinforces this idea by designing a red ribbon, another common element in their work, as a reminder of an omnipresent energy that connects us all, and one which connects Sam’s beliefs with those of Gond Art.
This extraordinary effort by the two artists resonates with the theme of ARTWALK 2021 – “In Spite Of” – where artists overcome limitations and geographical boundaries to come together to realise their creations, made possible by their passions and hopes for harmony for the future.