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Rajinder Singh

Rajinder Singh
Born 1964, Ipoh, Malaysia.
Lives and works in Singapore, Malaysia.




In the making of the FACES series of paintings - written by Milenko Pravacki Rajinder Jit Singh paints close up “faces” of his personal acquaintances and personal idols from his environment, which he likes and adores and finds beautiful. Seemingly simple and rooted in the age-old ambition of artists formed by the science and pursuit of beauty. But if to this beauty we add a calculated, constructed and printed mask with an opening for eyes and mouth (and ears) this mathematical formula of “beauty” and the total symmetry of the face, things get more complicated. Leonardo Da Vinci believed that one must search for art in science and for science in art, and that there are precise rules and regulations in physics and mathematics when constructing a painting: the rules of proportion, harmony and symmetry. As a mathematician it is natural that Rajinder searches for the exact formulas which both Leonardo and Durer seeked. Printed and mathematically calculated mask is pulled over all the faces to give the paintings that axiom of beauty and perfection for which Rajinder aims. Introducing the static and fixed element into the painting contributes to a “cooling” of the exterior, the physical over the soulful, the “internal” of the chosen face. The true character of the painted faces is obvious only in the openings for the eyes, mouth (and ears). It is as if the painter spoon feeds us beauty with a small drip, allowing us to preempt what hides behind the perfection of the formed face. These are the only little sparks of the reduced personalities which truly are joyous and show that the face behind the mask lives, dreams and feels, all the properties which mathematics and precise sciences can not calculate. Another method dealing with “internal beauty” is obvious in Byzantine painting, which Rajinder unconsciously applies and in that way abandons the “easy” graphical decorative portraits of Andy Warhol, these historical portraits being a strong reference. The layered application of paint creates a sensitive pictorial space, which is simplified with the clean background. As a pragmatic mathematician and creative, Raj purposefully suppresses segments of the personality of the “new aesthetics” of the 21st century, which is more accessible in content rather than image. He also follows the historical discourse of academic harmony, which is almost forgotten and reappears again and again in his paintings as a remake. In this century of aggression and superheroes the attempt to revive the idea of beauty as an aesthetic category seems a bit utopian, as the violent, bloody scenes don’t go so well with the classical symmetry and beauty of “healthy” faces that surround us and remind us of love. -Milenko Pravacki - Dean, School of Fine Arts- LasSalle Singapore