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‘His creations breathed life onto the canvas and spoke to the depths of our souls’: Bose Krishnamachari

Known to seamlessly transcend mediums, from paintings to digital media and filmmaking, artist Midhun Mohan passed away on June 4 in Goa. He was 38. “His sudden departure from this world has left us stunned and heartbroken. It is a tragedy that a young artist of such immense potential has been taken away from us too soon,” said artist Bose Krishnamachari, also founder member and President of Kochi Biennale Foundation.

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An alumnus of the University of Calicut, Mohan, like the varied mediums he pursued, also explored numerous themes through his works that responded to his surroundings. “Midhun was not merely a painter and animator but an artist with amazing vision, whose creations breathed life onto canvas and spoke to the depths of our souls. His art reflected their vibrant spirit, showcasing a unique perspective that captured the beauty and complexity of the world around us,” stated Krishnamachari, who also showcased Mohan’s work as part of ‘Lokame Tharavadu’, an exhibition, curated by him, featuring over 250 artists, in Alappuzha, Kerala, in 2021.

Artist Sumedh Rajendran recalls how Mohan’s works stood out in the multi-artist exhibition titled ‘Sea A Boiling Vessel’ presented by Aazhi Archives in Mattancherry from December 2022 to April 2023. Responding to Kerala’s history and its relationship with the vast seas and the varied influences over the centuries, Mohan’s ‘Flotsam’ series looked at “how intermixed history and stories around the sea are”. In ‘Kappiri – The Eternal Slave,’ he reportedly reminisced that long after slavery was abolished, Kappiri Muthappan (the spirit of an African slave who was brought to Kerala) still stays in the minds of people. Describing his works in the exhibition, a social media post by Aazhi Archives states: “Arguably, if only Kerala’s history had been talked about in contemporary times from the perspective of the Indian Ocean, art would find its place in myriad spaces, and Midhun Mohan’s works come from this perspective; about looking at the sea.”

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