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Art capsule

Subahdarshini Singh’s canvas is an unusual one. One that depicts micro-organisms,diseases and patients.

Written by Ashok Kumar( |
September 5, 2010 2:02:19 am

Germs,doctors and diseases find a place on Subahdarshini Singh’s canvas

Subahdarshini Singh’s canvas is an unusual one. One that depicts micro-organisms,diseases and patients. But,says Singh,the vision that informs them is one of hope.

Singh was a journalist who wrote on health issues before she turned to art and the history of medicine. She was interested in art since her childhood but made the switch from words to paintings only a few years ago when she was diagnosed with a chronic disease. Art then became a medium of hope and positive thinking. “Through my paintings I,endeavour to show the pain a patients goes through and the methods doctors are taking to cure diseases,” she says.

So,she got down to work,immersed herself in India’s rich history of medicine and painted the doctors mentioned in ancient Indian texts. “Why should we forget our hero doctors and surgeons who have done such a yeoman service to the society? By and large people don’t know the importance of Sushruta or Jivaka in the field of medicine. I feel my work is a humble tribute to all the greatness that exists in the field of medicine and I am trying to create a space for the forgotten heroes of medical sciences through my art,” say sixty-year-old Singh.

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As a journalist,Singh had made a couple of documentaries on Indian history of medicine. While researching the subject,she couldn’t find any picture of Jivaka or Charak or any other Ayurveda doctors. Now,Singh tries to fill in the blanks by letting her paintings talk of medicine in ancient India.

“My paintings represent the history of Indian Medicine from Sushruta to the 21st century. They also include little known figures and historical visualisation,” she says.

But it’s not all about history. A virus too finds representation on her canvas. Then in some paintings,she has shown a surgeon as god and in another as a rock star. “Once a surgeon excels in his field and people know him,he almost achieves the status of a rock star,” she says.

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First published on: 05-09-2010 at 02:02:19 am
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