Preview Guide

A case of divine intervention: James Wilkin’s ‘Origins’

By Wei Wen SngEvents - 19 July 2012 3:19 PM | Updated 24 July 2012

A case of divine intervention: James Wilkin’s ‘Origins’

'Mr Moonrise Himalayas' by James Wilkins

Where do we come from? Where are we going?

cry baby
'Jag' by James Wilkins

These, fine art photographer James Wilkins feels, are important questions that should cross our minds often. In the preview for his exhibit Origins, he introduced Rohinish Gupta, a seven year old boy who inspired him to think this way.

Rohinish first saw Wilkin’s work in New York. According to his father, Ashok Gupta, it was a case of divine intervention. “Art is a personal act of courage that changes someone’s life,” said Gupta sr. Rohinish’s life was definitely changed by Wilkin’s work. In it, he saw the link between nature, art and environmentalism- he had just learned about global warming at school. Immediately, he was inspired to help. Hence, Gallery R was born.

Rohinish wants Gallery R to showcase Wilkin’s work to as many people as possible. His message is simple, but powerful: “Nature gives us so many beautiful things. I don’t want to hear about them dying.” He believes that the more people are exposed to the beauty of nature, the more they feel inclined to protect it. For one so young, he certainly has an old, caring soul.

In Wilkins’ perspective, his works are about spirituality. The works he will exhibit in Singapore, in particular, are concerned with the idea of origination. In his own words, “spiritual aspects are important, to know where you come from and are going to.” 

Regarding his work practices, he is spontaneous. Many of his pieces have been inspired by dreams as well as connective consciousness- moments in which he feels a connection between him and his muse so powerful that he has to work immediately. For this installation, each piece of art is so intricately made, via the use of mathematical equations, wavelengths and polar co-ordinates; even he admits that he can never make a perfect replica.

Hailing from America’s East Coast, he is very much drawn to the Asian aesthetic, citing his love for its simplicity and spirituality. He loves how accepting, humble and giving Asian people are. As it is his maiden visit to Asia, he is extremely keen on emerging himself as much as he can into the heart and the pulse of Singapore. This city is very close to his heart, and besides exhibiting his work, he is collecting material for his next series, titled ‘Extinction’.

Says the silver crowned artist, “It’s hard for me to explain, but it’s the psychic energy of an object or place and my spiritual connection with it that inspires me.”

From the 27 – 29 July, at The Arts House, Old Parliament House, Gallery R will be presenting Wilkin’s first exhibition and Asia. 10 per cent of the exhibition’s proceeds will go to the World Wide Fund For Nature Singapore.