By Yasmijn Jarram

Different worlds merge into one another in the poetic drawings of Aji V.N. Originally from India, and living in the Netherlands, he combines tall Dutch poplar trees with coconut palms and banana trees. And yet, primarily what Aji V.N. does is confront us with imaginary worlds in which the limits of time and space no longer exist. His works hark back to the dawn of time, but at the same time also to the hereafter. Any persons that do appear between the trees, seas and thickets, are ghostly shadows posing as living sculptures, sometimes gazing straight into the eyes of the on-looker.

The fairy tale-like, exotic quality of his drawings does nothing to disguise the sense of evil. The horizon, always high, creates an air of oppression: escaping from these scenes is no easy task. The discerning on-looker eventually sees signs of mortality: pebbles turn out to be the hollow eyes of a human skull, the bare bones of a skeleton are seen lying among the patterns of bushes. Despite Aji V.N.’s archetypical and symbolic imagery, and the wealth of culture-historic references, his meaning remains hidden. The artist himself does not provide a definite answer: he allows his on-lookers their own interpretation.