Michael Janssen presents the first solo exhibition in Germany with Singaporean artist Jeremy Sharma. Entitled ORBITER AND SONATA, Jeremy’s new suite of works of cast and coloured polyurethane foam is an extension of his previous Terra Sensa series. This exhibition features a new group of reliefs which are based on the reconstruction of the mapping of extraterrestrial landscapes from information and data obtained by orbiters in space.
Jeremy Sharma (b.1977) works primarily as a painter but his body of work encompasses video, photography, drawing and installation. His current practice investigates the notion of art as a reflection of a conscious life that observes it in the age of mechanical, industrial and digital reproduction and interconnectivity. It adresses our relationship to modernism and our place in time and space in an increasingly fragmented and artificial reality.
The Terra Sensa series is based on two-dimensional radiographs of pulsars – stars that emit electromagnetic radiation at regular intervals. An image of the first ever recorded set of radiographs had been used 1979 by the band Joy Division for the now famous album “Unknown Pleasures”. The image became part of popular culture and achieved an iconic status. By the 3D transfiguration process the fleeting signals of pulsars gained weight and a certain blank monumentality that recall temple wall reliefs in Southeast Asia and Indonesia. Sharma interrelates the interstellar and pop cultural origins of these works with new technology, ancient myths and contemporary conceptual art discussions.
The new series of works in ORBITER AND SONATA represent the surfaces of planets that are within our solar system. The titels Melatone 20S_32S_14_35 and Melatone 27S_38S_110_130 refer to melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep cycles in animals and humans. Both are based on data of the visible and dark side of the moon. The moon in turn is thought to influence not only the tides but also sleep patterns. Ares Boreale I + II recreate Martian landscapes. In Greek mythology Ares is the god of war, the planet Mars is named after the Roman god of war. The golden relief carries the ominous title Icarus and is like the Terra Sensa series based on radiographs of pulsars. The shiny golden automotive paint invokes luxury, preciousness and invincibility while the title suggests an inherent scepticism.
These works share not only the artist’s employment of pre-fabrication and sensual use of synthetic industrial materials like pigments, polystyrene and polyurethane foam, but also a three-dimensionality which causes them to straddle the lines defining painting, sculpture and object. They create an interesting tension between form and materiality as well as a reading of abstraction in the present context of Asia and the world, positioning Sharma’s last few years of practice well into the conceptual field.
Notable solo exhibitions includes Apropos at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2012), Variations at Art Forum Gallery (2011), The Protection Paintings – Of Sensations and Superscriptions at the Jendela Gallery, Esplanade (2008) and End of A Decade at The Substation Gallery (2007). Having received several awards, Sharma’s work is also part of a number of public and private collections, notably the Singapore Art Museum, National Library Board Singapore, Ngee Ann Kongsi Singapore and Societe Generale. He currently teaches in the Faculty of Fine Arts at LASALLE College of the Arts.