Today, We introduce our readers to an artist that loves to display it in so many forms. His name is Jai Ranjit from India. A self-taught artist, with an abstracting mind that seeks to show his understanding of the world around him, as an individual and as a part of human society.Jai has 3 solo shows and several group shows under his belt, with work exhibited as well as live art performed in Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune and Bengaluru.
A former member of the Kala Ghoda Association’s annual Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, both as part of the organising team in 2007 and as an artist with installations in 2008, he takes great pride in giving back to the city in any way he can. Also a member of The Wall Project, a group of enthusiastic people who enjoy doing graffiti art the legal way, he has been a proud member of the Great Wall of Mumbai, a stretch of wall running the length of Tulsi Pipe Road between Mahim Jn. Railway Station and Dadar.Jai is also a photographer and teacher, having taught at Crestar Creativity Center in the past, privately now and conducts public workshops as well.
Upon discovering this young talent, we decided to have a small chit chat with him and It was a great experience. Here are some excerpts from the Interview.
Q. tell us something about yourself ?
A. I’m a self taught artist who’s graduated from Jai Hind College in 2009 with a degree in Philosophy and Political Science, having chosen the subjects as a support to the art I create. I started painting in 2007, having spent a year teaching myself to paint before that, and have been teaching art since 2009. I’m also a photographer and avid gallery hopper.
Q. When did you discover that ‘artist’ in yourself and decided to follow your dreams?
A. I learned of the artist in me at the age of 18, thanks to a schoolmate of mine and a wonderful artist himself, Devashish Guruji, when he came visiting during a break from his studies in Bengaluru’s Srishti institute. He saw my journals and sketches and suggested I start painting as a hobby. A month into researching art, I realised that it was to be my life. I haven’t looked back since, and will stop only if I’m physically no longer capable, or cannot learn any more from art than I possibly can. Since this was between my Std.XII and deciding what to do ahead, I chose to take up a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jai Hind College in Philosophy and Political Science, since I felt that they were the strongest supporting subjects for the art I wished to create. This was in the summer of 2006, and after a year of teaching myself I began my career as a painter in 2007, organising my first solo exhibition in December of 2008.
Q. According to you, what is the quality that an Artist must possess in order to stand out.
Confidence. It has to be confidence in ones work and self. There will always be judgement and criticism of the work one produces, but if you’re confident in your beliefs as to why you must create and why you do create what you do, you will stand out because nobody can deny the weight of physical proof of belief.
Q. tell us about your most important achievement and how it changed your life?
I believe my most important achievement has been the constant joy I see in the children I teach. It validates ones existence to see a child grow in confidence and skill, and actually enjoy what they’re doing when you teach them art and hear that they look forward to class with you. It’s changed my life drastically, because as much of an artist that I want to be with all the shows and live performances I want to keep giving, I can’t give up on teaching because there are students out there craving guidance in a way I didn’t get, and I wouldn’t be able to live with myself as an artist and human being if I didn’t share my knowledge with children in a way I wish I had received.
Q. In comparison to foreign countries, there is a bundle of talent in India, yet the exposure is not up to the mark. What do you think about this?
I think it’s sad. We have artists everywhere in this country, but sadly the people with the resources to support them and open up the world to them refuse to do so or choose not to because we’re brought up in a system of society that tells us to appreciate any art that’s created, but from a distance. And if it’s something new and unseen, we leave it be because we aren’t taught of the need to learn about it. Artists in India are always asked the very annoying questions of “Beta, very nice work, but what do you actually do for a job? Where do you see yourself in five years?” Until we change this attitude, the multitude of artists that exist and will emerge from this country will continue to either suffocate, remain hidden or disappear from our shores in an exodus to places that will offer them sanctuary and life.
Q. Lastly, what is your message to the fellow artists, anything special to share ?
My only message to fellow artists, established or emerging, is to keep to the path of creation. It doesn’t matter what kind of art you produce, just keep producing it. We all have our consuming opposite out there, and while it may take time, we’ll find them someday. Until then, keep supporting each other, and keep collaborating. Artists will be peacekeepers and society shapers forevermore.
Here’s wishing Jai all the best to his future endevours.