A Landscape of the Soul
The world is beautiful. The canvas is unusually long. Contrasted colors seem to float, in a sea of moving petals and cascading light. One envisions an unlikely field of flowers, forever eschewing botanical investigations. But the interplay of these brilliant tones results in a vibration, a kind of sacred exultation which conveys a feeling of joy and serenity.
Such is Prabhakara Jimmy Quek's work. Free from any descriptive agenda, he doesn't care for enumerating the
characteristics of a specific piece of country. Most painters of nature seek to establish its particulars, to inventories its attractions. Jimmy Quek could be described as a landscape artist, if one understands this label to mean someone who wishes to reproduce the "soul's carefully chosen landscapes".
The artist does not aim for imitation, the illusion of sensation, but endeavors to convey pure, naked emotion - the seemingly
impossible challenge of transcending the relationship between forms and colors to express the essence of beings and objects!
This can only be achieved through an ascetic approach, a slow refinement aiming to illuminate all the driftwood, all the noise which since childhood pollutes our vision.
As soon as she learns to draw, a child seeks to explain what she sees. Her representation of the world takes the shape of a more or less complex, more or less skillfully put together accumulation of concepts. She exposes a system.
How to recover the purity of our original vision, that of the newborn laying eyes on the world for the first time, before experience teaches her to make sense of its form?
Assuredly, abstract art, by forsaking all descriptive intention, joins music in this faculty of immediately creating an affective state.
Thus Prabhakara's painting is abstract in nature even if he happens to use identifiable elements: the curve of a wave, the twist of a branch are invoked rather than evoked. This wave, this branch, which he has encountered during his travels sometimes inhabit him for years. Progressively assimilated, they form part of the artist's emotions and beliefs. They become symbols.
Deeply rooted in his Buddhist faith, nourished by the practice of meditation, Jimmy Quek's work conveys a lasting impression of peace. Perhaps contemplating it makes us better.
Translation by O'Neil