My mind leaps from place to place. Snippets caught from Instagram stories, the news, city walks, quantum physics, cosmology, mythology, Jung’s ideas about archetypes, watching my mother watch Korean serials online, surveillance in society, social injustices, our emotional lives – nothing is off limits. The personal, the political, the subconscious world of forms, they mingle.

I make notes and drawings in my journal, and a small observation might evolve into a story for a painting or a series. Planning and research is essential for me, but when I paint, I don’t always constrain myself to my plans, I allow myself to step back and be a conduit to forms that seem to tumble out of the ether. My drawings are always a surprise even to me, they have messages which I am yet to decipher. 

I feel most comfortable when the uncanny slips into my work. I find that surreal imagery reveals unexpected layers to any object or situation that one is trying to understand and depict.

My works are mostly made on paper, with water media such as pen and ink, water colour, gouache and colour pencils.

Shoili Kanungo in her studio