Mrs Vijaya Mohan an Indian Singaporean is a renowned and Internationally acclaimed Rangoli artiste (Indian courtyard painting and floor art). She holds the Guinness World Record for the largest Rangoli in the World and additionally holds 16 Singapore book of records in various categories . During her lifetime of Rangoli experience Vijaya has drawn over 8,000 Rangolis in Singapore including prominent Art establishments like ESPLANADE, Museums, Government establishments ,Community centres, Hotels , Schools & Colleges, Airlines, Banks, Rotary clubs etc.
She has had the privilege and honour of drawing Rangolis in the presence of the Prime Minister of Singapore Mr Lee Hsien Loong and has done roangoli drawings in Mauritius, USA, Vietnam, Brunei, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, India and Australia.
Vijaya also conducts classes and workshops on Rangoli and actively promotes this traditional Indian Art for the past 20 years in Singapore.
In recent years her focus has shifted to Community Arts and for the last several years she has been working with a number of social welfare organizations as well as community centres, schools, universities and private and public Institutions and these Community art works have been on public display for long periods in Gardens By the Bay, Campbell Lane, Mustafa Centre and Serangoon Road for Deepavalli, and Indian spring festival, Whampoa Drive and Koalm Ayer Community Centre for SG50.
Her recent ‘Rangoli Puzzle Dazzle’ exhibition (in the picture) at Visual Arts Centre is one such presentation where more than 30 different types of Institutions have come to-gether to exhibit their artistic and creative skills. Art has no barriers to human limitations and this is ably exhibited by the works presented here. Starting from young children, school and university students, youth, middle aged, elderly, physically challenged, people with special needs, corporate executives etc.. have joined together in one massive mission breaking class, language, religious and social barriers to create this RANGOLI PUZZLE DAZZLE under the able guidance of Vijaya Mohan and her team of supportive co-artists.
Syopsis: Rangoli is a popular floor art from India in which designs are created using various coloured powders.The art is varied in designs, intricate, colourful, imaginative and evokes feelings of joy and happiness. Rangoli is a widely practiced Indian traditional art and commonly drawn outside houses in courtyards and wide open spaces inside the houses.
Rangoli Puzzle Dazzle
Both the concept and the approach are unique and expected to have a strong Singaporean flavor and give Singapore a distinct identity when it is being viewed by the fellow Singaporeans and visitors. The success of the event will depend on the number of viewers and their response to this adaptation of the ethnic art form.
One of the essentials for a multi-racial society is to learn and understand the culture of the other races and where possible choose and adopt the better of these practices. This will bring about true integration in the long run. When the other races join together to do this Rangoli art they will learn about the Indian practices. At the same time it is an art form which gives joy to the practitioner as well as the viewer of the art. The participants will be from all walks of life.This can be considered as programme in the initiation, creation and continued development and promotion of community arts.
The use of Puzzle
Human mind has two separate hemispheres or lobes called right and left-brain with each one dealing with different functions. Right brain deals with emotions and performs tasks holistically while the left-brain functions in linear fashion. Left-brain thinks logically and follows sequence while the right brain is creative, intuitive and emotional. When you try to put together a jigsaw puzzle, you harness both the brain powers.
This facilitates relaxation thereby calming anxiety and by exercising both sides of the brain it helps prevent Alzheimers in the long term. For younger people it also helps to develop their logical skills.
The use of Rangoli
Colours excite and stimulate and the act of using various colours in Rangoli brings out the creativity in the elderly, disabled and special needs participants. It brings their talents to the forefront and gives them a HUGE sense of pride in themselves , a purpose in life and a contribution to Society. For the youth it also serves to preserve the traditional Indian art form. By involving the community, she helps to integrate the various races by doing projects together jointly and learning about each other’s culture.
By combining puzzle with rangoli, she is hoping to bring about a magic fusion of logic and creativity, problem solving ability coupled with art creating flexibility.