TRU welcomes artist taking her drawing to new levels

Manjot Kaur dives deep into her abstract depictions of our lives at the molecular level

Kaur links together her Punjab culture with a deeper look at our world from a molecular level in a drawing from her book Random Order. (Cailyn Mocci/The Omega)

TRU Visual Arts department welcomed travelling artist Manjot Kaur on Feb. 14 to showcase her wide array of visual media, including drawings and animations.

Kaur received her BFA in Painting from the Government College of Art at Panjab University in Chandigarh, where she currently lives and works.

Much of Kaur’s work is focused on the notion of “on-going” using mediums such as journal drawings, installations, 2D animated videos, timelapse and sound. Many of her projects are layered with socio-political issues surrounding the Punjab state and the world.

Her focus on “on-going” can be seen in her works that touch on passing of time in the processes of movement, growth, change, decay, the circle of life, evolution and identity.

“I’m very much interested in how nature develops. How things happen on the micro level and at the same time how things happen on the macro level,” said Kaur.

Many of her drawings and animations, as displayed in her presentation for the TRU community, showcase this sense of growth and decay in the form of scientific drawings. In the book Random Order, Kaur displayed the 12 drawing that takes on an abstract form of life on the molecular level.

Kaur describes Random Order as a collection of works that “point towards the ever-evolving life using the imagery of microscopic cellular forms existing all around us.”

Kaur also showed in her presentation an interactive installation called Open Secret, a play on the identification system used in the Punjab state. This installation was a tangible look at issues of privacy, identity and the tools of mass surveillance, using Aadhaar – The UID project.

In Open Secret Kaur as well as her partner, dressed in military garb and set up in open urban areas with high foot traffic, in the case presented a shopping mall. Local Public was invited by the means of the announcement as a metaphor for advertising in the consumerist era. Only people with an Aadhar number could enter the space. 

Kaur’s work takes on two very contrasting elements often seen in art, abstract and science. Her blending of the two melds perfectly as a commentary of the world constantly spinning and all that happens both big and small.