The Singh Twins

Amrit and Rabindra KD Kaur Singh

Uniquely, the Singh Twins have revived the tradition of Indian miniature painting in Twenty First century terms.  They did it out of love – love for this wonderful art form, love for their own cultural traditions and, most tellingly, love for modern life around them.  It is this mix of past with present loves that makes their art so vital and rewarding. 

Indian miniature painting, both secular and religious, was an art of praise, even when it was showing tragic deeds.  It was decorative in the best sense; every inch breathes wonder, even when blood runs.  This is not a superficial but a deep sensation; art has to be positive, if not, what is the point of painting it?  Simply by sidestepping the cul-de-sac of modern art  (they talk of past-modernism, not post-modernism), and going back to their own roots, has enabled them to develop an artistic language that can encompass within its flowers the whole gamut of their rich lives.  Two early examples suffice as an introduction:  All That I Am tells the life story of their father, starting (top left) with his memories of kite flying as a kid, with the  Sikh’s most holy Golden Temple in the background , his journey to Britain after the blood-rift of Partition, and his subsequent climb to success through the study of medicine, surrounded by emblems indicating his character.  Nineteen Eighty Four show terrified worshippers fleeing when Indian troops stormed the Golden Temple in 1984, its sacred waters stained red, the perfect symbol in paint of the agony of this tragedy. Few artists today have been able to embrace such profound themes, and in so modest a space!

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Nineteen Eighty Four 1998

Poster colour, gouache and gold dust on mount-board.

75.5 x 101cm

All That I Am 1993/4

Poster colour, gouache and gold dust on mount-board.

45.1 x 64cm