NOIR — the mystery unfolds

The Art Exchange Project presents its second group show. The show will be on from 23rd –28th September 2017, at The Stainless Gallery, Mira Corporate Suites, Mathura Road, New Delhi.

NOIR – the mystery unfolds

Hidden within the shadows, sinking into the dreams,
playing with the strings that hum to our emotions … black.
The start and end of colours.
The red passion, the blue hues of melancholy,
the golden glow of a sigh … all black.

From the abyss of darkness, life unfolds.
Good and evil are bypassed when the dice of life are rolled.
Every empty street of a city finally asleep,
every wrinkle on the face, every moment of silence…
spills life onto a canvas painted by time.

The paintings of this exhibit wear black, with shades of mystery.
Beneath their surface, you will find stories told and untold,
eloquent and grotesque.
Every layer, a way to understand black.

And you might find your mysteries unfold within them.

The show presents works of 21 artists in different mediums including pen and ink, charcoal, graphite, acrylic and prints. Each artist uses black to express their creativity in portraits, cityscapes and abstracts. Some colour peeks through the large expanse of greys and black like scattered perceptions mixing with haze of memories.

According to Aarti, the curator, black is a fascinating colour. It represents different things in different cultures around the world. Positive or negative, fearful or powerful black cannot be ignored. When intense it makes all others its own. Dispersed or diluted, it is like a mysterious veil from within which other colours peek through. It is a colour with extraordinary energy as it absorbs energy from all around. It demands a special concentration from those who choose to dabble in it as requires the artist to master oneself before he or she can master the hue. Most artists start their journey with drawing in black and as they progress, the vibrant colours take over their work. Black is forgotten, relegated to stage of ideas. The aim of this show is to bring out black in all its expressive glory; delicate, oppressive, mysterious, bold, classy … making a statement in every way.

The art season in the city witnesses numerous group shows. The aim of this is to create an experience for the viewer to be able to enjoy a variety of expressions and styles in one theme.

Hope you become a part of the dramatic ensemble of Noir and the memories linger.

The show will be opened by renowned artist Mr. Prem Singh, former Principal, Govt. College of Art, Chandigarh.

Mr. Prem Singh has 12 solo shows and over 60 group shows to his credit. He has been a part of numerous art camps. He has been felicitated with many awards including Punjab Kala Ratan and Triennale India International award.  

Mr. Prem Singh’s perspective on Noir – “Conceiving works of art in black invites introspection. The range of tones and textures not only enhances its expressiveness but also stimulates the perceptive viewer to have a deeper insight into the artistic and imaginative manifestation of the inner voice of the artist. I look forward to see the inner soul of the artists expressed in Noir


About the curator Aarti Uppal Singla 

Aarti is a visual artist, with over 20 years of experience, who expresses through photography, painting, graphic design and book publishing. She graduated in Graphics from Govt. College of Arts, Chandigarh. And did her Masters in English from Panjab University.

Juggling between art, photography and design keeps her creatively challenged. While she follows minimalism and simple clean lines as a part of her design philosophy, her art and photography are guided by experimentation. She explores new mediums and techniques.

She runs two art communities in Delhi, The Art Exchange Project and Delhi Pencil Jammers.

Finding time between her design commitments she makes stationery, conducts art workshops, curates photography and art shows and organizes free art meet ups.

Call: +91 98734 22784


The Genesis (Ink on paper)


The following artists make up the ensemble





Abid’s fascination towards art is since childhood. Inspired by the work of Jatin Das, she started taking her art work seriously around 1995. She uses different mediums like pen, oil and charcoal in her work and wants to be a versatile artist. Lines are her passion. She loves to accept challenges and certainly does not want to be typed in a particular style. She wants to convey social messages through the medium of art. She wants to share the story of the wrongs being done by mankind to nature, to animals and birds and the havoc created in the name of development.
In her present work she conveys the feelings the whole species of vulture would have felt when they were losing the battle for their survival.

Desperate world of Vulture 1 (Charcoal on paper)




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Astha is a self-taught San Diego based artist, born and raised in India. She has seen diversity and elegance in abundance, and her art revolves around the paradox that life creates and juxtaposes on each of us. She thinks it is significant and overwhelming to realize our dreams changing and growing while we bask in the present. We all in some way, silently keep living with the parallel culture and sub culture that ignites our mind and our soul.
Parallel lines, ignite hers!
Professionally trained as a Lighting designer, she best engages with herself through lines in motion. Her art begins with words, and ends in lines. Her line work is narrative and thoughtful. It tells a story. It is an extension of herself into another realm.
Her work has been displayed at Art Hatch Gallery and The Studio Door in San Diego. She has done many shows with Thumbprint Gallery.

Bela – The Eternal Green 1 (Pen and watercolours on paper)





Balesh is a doctor by profession. She has been painting for more than 25 years. She has many prestigious shows to her credit. Her works adorn the homes of prominent art collectors within the country and abroad.
She generally refrains from titling her paintings because she finds that a word, or phrase, can never truly articulate the emotion. Her works have a very rich texture and luminosity as her work combines the art of painting and sculpture on paper and canvas. The obvious question is why a doctor would feel the need to paint. ‘Why not?’ Asks Balesh. It is most natural for a doctor to feel the need to express herself. When one is inundated with so much suffering, and misery, and so much observation of the human race it is natural that one turns to another medium for expression.
Balesh’s art is about the five elements of nature Fire, Earth, water, air and ether. Ether is her favourite element. Ether contains all that is incalculable and inexplicable. It is Ether that gives space for the other elements to amalgamate and harmonize.
In the backdrop of these elements is Krishna, the protagonist and muse for her works. Krishna symbolizes the ideal man or woman. He is a lover, a child, a strategist, a leader, a thinker and a friend. He lives a righteous way of life, yet falters at times. In times of a lack of ideals, Krishna is an ideal idol.
Dr. Balesh Jindal was awarded the Award for Compassion (from people over 200 countries and 250,000 participants) and was invited by Stanford University to meet the Dalai Lama in 2014.
She supports schools and NGOs who work for the cause of sexual abuse among very young girls.

Krishna The Thinker 2 (Acrylic on canvas)





Gautam is a self taught Artist. He has been fond of painting since childhood. He wanted to be a professional artist but life took him in a different direction. He is now working as a General Manager (sales) in a reputed consumer product company. So he travels all over India for the sake of his profession.
But in no circumstances he stops his painting. He believes that today, life is full of contradictions and scattered. We can’t express anything very straight and simple manner because now our thoughts are also very complicated. He believes all our expressions are the outcome of turmoil of our inner mind and outer world.
He expresses his all acute feelings and emotions in different shape, forms, textures and colours spontaneously in his works. So his main focus and concentration is expressing inner mind. Here he exhibited a few semi abstract paintings of different characters of animal, bird and human beings with charcoal on paper.

Sidelong Glance (Charcoal on paper)





Hazel is an artist hailing from Mumbai and has been living in Delhi for the past 8 years.
Her interests cover various genres and art forms; however, currently she is particularly focusing on doodles, zendoodle, mandalas, and watercolours. Her artwork is inspired by a variety of themes ranging from nature and culture, to her observation of people and the society at large.
The current sets of artworks are thematically focused on ‘Today’s Classy Women.’ She has tried to express every aspect of the high-society woman in the backdrop of the rapidly changing society. The classy woman is a symbol of style, carries herself with poise, and is an insatiable dreamer. She loves to dress up, is always conscious of her looks, and feels empowered and confident of herself. Let’s admit it … there is a ‘classy woman’ in each woman! Hence, her artworks are sure to strike a chord with you!


Seeking Perfection (Ink and watercolours on paper)



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Inku Kumar is a self-taught and distinguished contemporary calligraphy artist. He works across numerous mediums and tools in calligraphy, mostly well known for his striking contemporary calligraphy & experimental compositions from his own unique vision. His work addresses the intersection between language and the art.
He received his BFA & MFA in Applied Art from College of Art, Delhi. Well known for writing certificates in his early years of Bachelors and at the tender age of twenties, Inku constantly explored it and approached this art form as a drawing not writing.
Following a successful career of 7 years serving as a graphic designer in ESPN Start Sports and with the growing passion & enthusiasm towards Calligraphy, Inku left the corporate world in 2013 and committed his journey to explore the art form in his unique way. Since then he never looked back and carved his own path to set his own trademarks in Calligraphy. In his recent years, Inku established his own studio/institute and worked with many recognized brands. When not making art he can be found conducting innovative workshops on Calligraphy.

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra (Acrylic on Canvas)





Khushroo Kalyanwala is an Architect from the School of Architecture, (CEPT), Ahmedabad. He is based in New Delhi and works on Interior Design and Architectural Metal Production and Installation. Currently he is also the Founder Director of CEPT Archives for the built environment in South Asia (for Architecture, Planning & Design) in Ahmedabad. He is a hobbyist and a collector of a large range of Collectibles and Art. He combines his travels along with taking the opportunity to create a diverse range of Art that includes Sketching, Photography and at times combining the two to create a Canvas of Digital Art with mixed techniques.
He has exhibited previously, his various forms of Digital Art in 3 successful SOLO shows and 6 GROUP shows.
This exhibition has works that are from his travels and are Graphical Representations of Architecture, Nature and Inanimate objects of which the colour, texture and composition are seen through the eyes of an Architect/Designer and may create a visual which does not necessarily reflect the original image.
Therefore it is Seen thro’ a lens as the ‘Truth’; Represented thro’ a medium as a ‘Lie’.

Homage To The Gufa -(2) (Digital print on paper)





Mahima Dhawan completed her education from Lady Shri Ram College for Women and National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi. She is a Delhi based artist, born and brought up in Chandigarh. With the help of her knowledge in graphics, she aspires to integrate art with digital mediums and make it more accessible. Mahima set out to learn the intricacies of art under the guidance of Sidharth, a senior artist based in Delhi. She has also taken courses in creative painting at National Gallery of Modern Art.
Mahima is deeply attached to her hometown, the city from where she continues to draw her inspiration and aspiration. Her inclination towards art stems from the quest to find answers to some of the most fundamental themes of our existence. Her work is a collection of moments that help her connect the dots in finding answers to these questions. Mostly, her work is meditative, transient and open to interpretation. She ushers the idea of ‘what we might not know’ and leaves the viewer to find his way through the story. She works in figurative and abstract styles, exploring variety of philosophies with spontaneous drawings in black ink.
Mahima’s art assemblages are in private collections in London, New York, Dubai and New Delhi.

Physiognomy of Courage (Ink on paper)





Mansi is a visual artist, a folk/tribal art and craft entrepreneur and a dedicated art educator. She finds her practice exploring the connections between the self and society through different mediums of art. She has completed her Masters in Visual Arts in 2015 from SCCE, Ambedkar University, Delhi and Bachelors in Painting in 2011 form College of Art, Delhi. Her work has been a part of various exhibitions and camps such as Imagine Fest, Nehru Park, Delhi in 2017, Tat Tvam Asi- That Thou ArtGroup show of art works created at Simhastha Kumbha, Ujjain, 2016 at Twin Art Gallery, IGNCA, New Delhi to name a few. Mansi currently lives and works in New Delhi, India.

Hibernation (Acrylic on Canvas)




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Though his family hails from Salem, Tamil Nadu, Mariyappa was born in Delhi and did his schooling from government school near the JJ Colony he lives in. He is presently pursuing Masters in Hindi from Delhi University.
His love for art started in childhood. Looking at illustrations in Tamil storybooks inspired him The posters and hoardings of gods and goddesses and movie stars that are aplenty in Tamil Nadu made the attraction for art even stronger.
Studying literature gave new dimension to his thoughts and helped him understand the root of emotions that he liked to portray in his art. But since understanding them is not enough he is training at Triveni Kala Sangam to hone his art skills.
His present works are based on spirituality in religious icons. As Vishnu is the creator and Shiv is the destroyer, so also the machines create and destroy. It is up to us what we see in them.

Ekdant (Acrylic on Canvas)



+91- 9818307044


Megha is a visual artist from New Delhi. She is a BFA in Painting and a MFA in Printmaking from College of Art and currently pursuing PhD in Printmaking from College of Art. Her work has been a part of several group shows across the country since 2012, Her work has been selected in renowned exhibitions and award shows and recently was awarded the Merit award, Delhi zone by the Prafulla Dahanukar organization.
Her work is a compilation of thoughts and feelings which are constantly experienced by her in life. Her works show the 2 spaces; virtual space and real space in union intersecting and interacting. In these spaces one can feel the vibrations of people who may have visited these spaces in real life or in your thoughts. The essence of people in these spaces is never totally lost. Their vibrations surround us all the time. Megha lives and works in New Delhi and everything around her, the daily and mundane inspire her. She is currently exploring the art of origami and through simple paper folding create structures and drawings reflecting the mental landscape of her mind.

Emotional state 2 (Woodcut print)



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Paul, an autodidact artist, makes paintings, with a conceptual approach, depicting the moments of life through a combination of colour, texture and symbolism. Paul creates work which has a fascination with the clarity of content and an uncompromising attitude towards conceptual art.
Profession makes him designer but his passion for art makes him an artist.
Paul is a graduate engineer with a masters in product design. With the belief meaningful design impacts the way in which people interact with the world, Paul has been a product designer with leading brands in India.
The zeal for art and painting is probably rooted in him from the time, in his childhood, when he used to see his maternal grandfather bring to life the clay idols of deities. Looking back at that period of his life and their encouragement inspired him to explore this side of his persona. He looks forward to his artistic experiments and explorations because it’s the journey that teaches you more than the destination.
His paintings question the conditions of appearance of an image in the context of contemporary visual culture. His style tends to be figurative with impressionistic touch, usually showing composition with enough detail to reveal the subject.
By examining the ambiguity and origination via retakes and variations, he tries to approach a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way. He brings a subtle and sophisticated feel to his paintings through a unique balance of colour, composition and texture. Paul currently lives and works in Delhi.

Vitarka (Acrylic on canvas)



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After studying at Delhi – IIT, IIFT and FMS – Niraj worked as Head of many electronics and telecom MNCs, last one being as MD South Asia, AT&T. At IIT he was well sought after for his sketches & caricatures for various publications, events and shows. During his professional career, he wrote as well as drew for his extremely popular monthly column in telecom magazine “Voice & Data” for many years. Before submerging himself fully into art, he attended art programs at National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi for one year. His association with NGMA and The Art Exchange Project helped him discover his passion for watercolours and urban sketching.
As he frequents New York, he became an active member of New York Urban Sketchers (NYC USk). Inspired by NYC USk, he started USk Delhi with its FB page called Urban Sketchers Delhi. USk Delhi has been meeting non-stop every Sunday since its inception in May 2017.
The differentiating factor in Niraj’s works is story telling through the use of calligraphy as he transforms his sketches into paintings. His other passion is golf.

The Sun, Chihuly’s Glass Extravaganza at New York Botanical Garden (Watercolour on paper)



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Priya is a Software Developer by profession, but believes her true calling is in art. After a B.Tech in Information Technology, she has lived and worked in India and USA. She learnt a great deal about oil paintings from America’s renowned portrait artist Tamara Geddes. While in USA, she enjoyed plein air painting while visiting the National Parks in the Desert Southwest.
Back home in India, Priya enjoys making new friends and networking with the local art community in the Delhi NCR region. Priya enjoys painting both portraits and landscapes in oil.
In both software and art, Priya is a constant experimenter and believes in coming up with innovative solutions to problems. Priya has been crocheting since childhood and with Noir, Priya has tried to combine her mastery in crochet with her passion for paintings by overlaying crochet textures over canvas to provide depth and feel to the paintings.

Lady in Hat (Oil and crochet on canvas)



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Reena completed her schooling in Kenya and pursued her higher education in India. She has a diploma in Interior Design and Architectural Apprenticeship from The South Delhi Polytechnic and a Bachelors Degree in IT and Management from University of Bhubaneswar.
She has immersed herself into painting and colors her canvas with expressions of realism from life and abstracts from her imagination … her thoughts are converted into a riot of colors that express her feelings, her love for travel, nature and cities, her fascination with non-conformity vis a vis her appreciation for symmetry and asymmetry alike.

Hope Blossoms (Acrylic on canvas)



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Sarah Ahmad is an Artist, Designer and Writer based in Delhi/NCR. She completed her Bachelor of Design from Apeejay Institute of Design, New Delhi in 2006 and worked as an Exhibition and Interior Designer in Delhi and Dubai.
She has exhibited her art works at several exhibitions in Delhi and New York and is a permanent artist with a New York based art gallery — Surmrit Gallery of Art and Design.
Sarah loves to paint and doodle on anything and everything, from canvas sheets to lampshades, cartridge paper to furniture, shoes to t-shirts.
Sarah has worked with several design publications in Delhi and is currently freelancing for Tribe (UK), a media arts organization and The Citizen, as a Contributing Art Writer.
She designs, writes and paints at her studio in Noida. She loves to pen down her thoughts about art in her city, she enjoys her chai, an occasional visit to an art exhibition, loves to squiggle and sketch; is a spectator, creator, idealist.
Sarah’s current artworks, titled, Short Cities, is a series of abstract-architectural illustrations, an extension to her previous black and white abstracts titled, Dreams of Reality.

Short Cities 1 (Pen on paper)



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Shivam is a self taught artist who likes to explore new mediums. Constantly inspired by contemporary art around the world, he experiments with new styles. His paintings are enigmatic and simple at the same time much like his life and decisions taken on the path of becoming an artist. Leaving extreme tormenting emotions behind he follows what keeps him sane and neutral.
Love, loss, dilemma, insanity — having experienced them all, now he is here to spellbind the viewers with his work and find himself too.
His artworks are not only a treat to eyes but to your mind and soul too, giving the audience a surreal and serene experience.

Amorous (Pen on paper)





Sonal’s work can be described as expressionistic realism. Her forte is portraits and still life. She began her working career as a Human Resources professional and shifted her focus towards painting after 7 years of corporate life. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Fine Arts, Painting, from Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California.
Sonal’s work has evolved overtime to focus upon the narrative of the subject. She has a thematic approach to building her body of work. While narrative becomes a primary focal point of her work, she relies greatly upon color harmony, composition, expressive mark making and textures to bring out the character in her work. Her works attempt to depict the labyrinthine depths of emotion and are a result of the bond that gets established between her, and her subjects.

Molten 4 (Acrylic on Canvas)



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Sushil Bhasin is an artist, cartoonist, and a storyteller based out of New Delhi, India. Since 2005 he has been working on a unique canvas – pebbles.
His art is quirky as he brings pebbles to life by giving them human emotions, expressions and interconnections. The art form is christened as Pebble People. It is a mix of objects, characters and offbeat perspectives – brought to life with metal, wood, cloth and other materials. Pebbles remain a constant.
His inspiration to work with pebbles came when he went up the mountains. He picked a few and brought them home. They quickly became friends when they met his pens and paints. Sushil’s art has been showcased in boutique hotels, and living rooms of the fond collectors. His work has been widely been featured in the media over the years.

Gossip gossip (Stone and metal)



+91- 98186 20978


Tarun is a Visual Artist based out of New Delhi. His work involves use of Colours in an Awareness of the Moment.
Born to doctor parents and growing up in a medical college, his art classes were conducted in anatomy lab, The Mortality and Interconnectedness of Being have been a part of his life since childhood.
A true work should have vitality. It is alive. It communicates, in subtle ways. It can recalibrate our consciousness. His acknowledgment of being an artist also came with an embrace from the unknown. How can one ‘create’ something if we rely solely on the sense of self which is a cumulation of ideas, memories, thoughts and perceptions?
Besides art, he has worked on a diverse portfolio of industrial design projects- yachts to railways, and consulted startups on their product design strategies. The personal objective, throughout has been to create authentic and empathetic experiences and works.
The series started as an exploration into Black and evolved into layers of illumination. The journey brought with it Light, revealing a certain Seraphic nature to the works. I have exerted to discover the darkest crevices of my mind, as an Artist, and the Light has remained a steadfast companion to always find me. This work arrives at a very serendipitous time of my life, and I share what found me as I sought without seeking.

Seraphic 1 (Acrylic on Canvas)



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A latent creative streak in Winnie Singh manifested itself early in life, when she opted for training and career in interior design. After several years as a practicing interior designer, Winnie committed herself to developing the sense of art amongst toddlers. In the last few years Winnie has evolved her own perspective that stems from understanding of the complexity of design she practiced as a professional and the simplicity of expression that she teaches her students. Simplicity in Complexity is how Winnie Singh sees life and she manifests that consistently in all her creative pursuits.
She has worked with different mediums and all her work evokes the observer to look at things from her perspective. Where a collision between simplicity and complexity gives rise to visual expression that charms.
The Car-mic series is yet another series of artworks that will tell the same story.

Carmic 1 (Acrylic on canvas)