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 D Ebenezer Sunder Singh  (1966 - )

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Lived/Active: India      Known for: painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

D. Ebenezer Sunder Singh was born in 1966 at Tirunelveli, a town in Tamil Nadu, and grew up in the midst of age-old traditions, imbibing a great deal from the rich cultural milieu that surrounded him.  It is no wonder then that Singh is known as one of India`s most promising new talents.  His sculptures, paintings, prints and drawings are recognized all over the country, and this versatile young man has exhibited and won honors for himself ever since he began his career as a professional artist in the early 1990`s. Re ligion and religious themes play a big part in Ebenezer`s art, which is influenced by Hindu ethics as well as Christian beliefs.  Spirituality is also a very important ingredient for this artist, whose paintings have an undeniably Indian character, but are subtly twisted by his very contemporary idiom and his translation of the mythology of our subcontinent.  This is what makes Ebenezer`s art rich in substance and meaning, making it universally appealing.

 Ebenezer likes to interpret what he has seen and experienced into a visual language that is enriched by his overflowing cache of personal and religious symbols.  In his works we see the concepts of life and death, charity and sin, and pleasure and pain emerging with meanings and connotations that are sometimes so personal as to be alien to us, and therefore only comprehensible when looked at through the lens of Singh`s own psyche - which he is always ready to explain.

In 2000, Singh held a show in Chennai, where the title piece and main attraction of the exhibition was a fiberglass sculpture called the "Balloon Man."  Both the man and the balloon in this sculpture were surviving on the same air, and according to Ebenezer, illustrated the fact that human life was as transient as that of a balloon.  Both could be lost in no more than a fraction of a second.  The other works on display also centered on the theme of mortality, mainly the drawings and prints that he made the last year whilst on a Charles Wallace Trust Scholarship to Kingston University, England.

In the same exhibition, Ebenezer displayed a new and innovative set of installation like pieces that he had been working on.  He created what he calls book paintings, which basically are a series of watercolors on handmade paper influenced by religious texts and picture stories, and bound together between two copper sheets.  These copper plates also have drawings beaten on them, and help the books to stand and be viewed as a series of paintings in an installation.

Singh received his diploma in Fine Arts from the Government College of Arts & Crafts in Chennai and a Merit Scholarship from the Tamil Nadu Ovia Nunkalai Kuzhu.  He has also received the Lalit Kala Akademi research Grant (1991 - 92), Junior Fellowship of the Government of India (1995 - 96) and the Arnawaz Vasudev Scholarship (1995).

 He has been a teacher for many years at the Loyola Institute of Visual Communication, the Vijaya College of Fine Arts at Gadag, Karnataka, the Government College of Arts & Crafts, and the Hindustan Engineering College, both in Chennai.

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