Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lakshmi Mohanbabu, Artist, Architect & Fashion Designer, Tells Her Story

Having grown up in Afghanistan seeing all the destruction and chaos, cultivated a keen desire in me to create rather than to destroy, thus started my sojourn of design. I studied architecture at the Manipal Institute of Technology. On completing my degree in Architecture I joined a prominent architectural firm, Benjamin and Benjamin, in New Delhi.

However, I allowed myself to grab any chance that would give me an opportunity to draw, paint, or just create. I got work illustrating books with the World Health Organization, the Voluntary Health Association of India, and the National AIDS Control Organization, to name a few. The subject was very interesting and it gave me an insight into yet another aspect of life. My unconventional approach led me in yet another direction when I decided to study Fashion Design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi, a premier design school and the only one of its kind at the time.

The way I saw it there was no real departure from my training as an architect. Both Architecture and Fashion deal with the design of a protective space -- Clothing is the immediate space around us, and Architecture is the bigger space. Paintings and sculpture create focal points in the larger interior, or architectural space, just as jewelry and accessories create areas of focus in Fashion. The fundamentals of designing a painting a sculpture, a building, or furniture deal with an understanding of function, form, structural and material properties. Over the years I was able to connect the dots and delve into all areas of design.

Traveling and interacting with people from across the globe instilled in me a desire to share my worldview with a message that I believe would have a positive impact on people. As an artist, I feel I could spread a message for the betterment of society. Having extensively traveled in Europe and Asia, studying architecture and fashion design I was able to incorporate various cultural aspects into my world of art and design.

My experience teaching at NIFT Delhi and Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore has made me a perpetual student of Art, Architecture, Jewelry and Design for it is my belief that learning never stops. Having traveled the world with significant time especially in Europe and the Asia Pacific has enabled me to incorporate cross-cultural elements, philosophies and interactions in my designs, be it in painting, jewelry or art.

I believe I was born to study the history of art techniques and explore the unexplored reaches of fine art - not restricting myself to painting  - but in the design of jewelry, furniture, sculpture, shoes, building, clothes, etc. and create a new world. 

Over the last few decades of my journey, I have created a plethora of work in various mediums such as Pen and Ink, Pencil Color, Charcoal, Acrylic, and Watercolors. My paintings and jewelry have been in circulation with private clients for the past few decades. I currently have design studios in both Singapore and India.

This is Week 2 of 52 Artists in 52 Weeks. Thank you for reading and sharing Lakshmi's story today. To connect with Lakshmi and see more of her work, please visit the following links:

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