The abstract, formally spare and physically compacted work of Manish Nai stems from his dialogue with certain emblematic examples of late Western Modernist art, coupled with his preoccupation with materiality, which pushes his practice towards the making of simple, unitary forms that are salient in Minimalism. Nai decides to exploit his material's malleability—by twisting and wringing and folding it—and then shapes and compresses its tactile voluptuousness into fairly monumental rectangular or square slabs. The process of compressing the materials—jute, corrugated cardboard, newspapers, old clothes—hardens their initial malleability, desiccates their ductility, transforming them into flattened fossilized versions of themselves.
The particular process deployed by him has led his work to take a more playful turn as in the slender ‘poles’ or 'beams' made of compressed clothes that are portable, lighter to handle, more vivid in their colouristic appeal. These are either serially propped up against a wall (recalling the similar disposition of a series of distaffs in a famous work by Jannis Kounellis) or piled up in a heap on the floor. Considered individually, the pole cannot but recall the portable coloured wooden staff that was a signature pictorial element of André Caderé’s performative and conceptual practice.
The Prudential Eye Awards 2016 was held at the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on 19 January 2016. Featuring 15 shortlisted artists, 39 works and an eminent panel of Judges, the event celebrates Asia’s most exciting up-and-coming talent. The awards ceremony was officiated by Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth,...