Artist Spotlight : Gerald Mohan

Many people when rejected a number of times would probably throw in the towel. However, for Gerald Mohan (Instagram: @geraldmohan) getting rejected from the art stream is the biggest inspiration to his long awaited career. Growing up, his creative flair would fill up most of his pastime. One of his many interesting hobbies would include drawing fantasy and comic art.

Much of what he does in his teens has not convinced his parents much to allow him to become an artist. Growing up in Asian household means the career choices are rather limited for children with strict parents - including Mohan. The parents expected engineering school to be in his future plan but he knew that he wanted something else. Yet for him, finding the middle ground is important to remain respectful to his parents so Mohan pursued architecture instead.

Gerald draws a lot of his artistic inspiration from a Chicago based artist named Bruce Riley. His unique forms of fluid abstract paintings pushed Gerald to try something similar. In the quest for definition, Gerald thinks art can mean nothing or it can mean everything. He vowed to spend the following year making one painting a month to hone his fluid painting technique. It was only after Gerald turned 40 did he finally call himself a professional artist!

Although there are days when things don’t go as planned, Gerald don’t see that as a major deterrent to his career. If anything, he thinks that claiming "I am done!” after every completion would ruin a perfectly good painting.

Artist: Gerald Mohan

"There is the problem of saying I am done. You work and rework and add more ideas into the mix and before you know it, you’d very well ruin a perfectly good painting. All because you want it to be great!”

Although he is widely known for his fluid style painting, Gerald’s fond for paper sculpture really had stimulated him to explore different methods in producing art, way beyond what he can do on a piece of canvas. it was, to him, truly exhilarating to be able to show it in his recent exhibitions.

Gerald added intricacy to his first paper sculpture, almost turning it into a story for the viewer to understand. He decided to create a series called The Three Boys, depicted as the three children of the lady in The Rubber Tapper playing by the pond. Happy with the outcome, Gerald thinks the addition would complete the subtle form of diaspora he intended to convey in the whole piece. A lot of hidden messages he put in his artwork are subjective to critical views.

The Three Boys, paper sculpture by Gerald Mohan

“This (The Three Boys) really pushed my paper sculpture skills further but I must say that The Rubber Tapper is still my favorite. And while paper always makes people think it’s easily destroyable, my sculptures will make you wonder if it’s really made of paper.”

“I was intrigued by the Indian women who worked in the rubber plantation. I can only imagine their life in the plantation (and their contribution) in making Tanah Melayu the number one exporter of raw rubber.”

The Rubber Tapper takes the viewer on a journey to the past, visually represented in the form of lady figure wearing Saree. The paper sculpture is his 10 years idea, capturing a specific time between 1890 to 1920 in order to study the local Indian diaspora in pre-independence era.

The Rubber Tapper 1, Paper Sculpture by Gerald Mohan

Closer view of The Rubber Tapper

Follow Gerald Mohan's art journey on Instagram here

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