Diwan Manna

Conceptual Artist/Photographer

Museum of Indian (Asian) Art, Berlin 2000

Exhibition of Photographs of Series:

Alienation, Violence, Dhaba, Goat’s Eye and Shores of the Unknown

at The Museum of Indian Art (Museum of Asian Art), Berlin, Germany, 2000


Diwan Manna with Professor Dr. Marianne Yaldize, Director, Raphael Dedo Gadebusch, Deputy Director, Museum Fur Indische Kunst (Museum of Indian Art) Berlin at the inauguration of the exhibition of his art works at the Museum of Indian Art (now Museum of Asian Art) Berlin, Germany 2000

Nuischine, a friend and Diwan Manna




Diwan Manna’s Photographic Art

In his Photographic Installations Diwan Mana combines images with objects, moving thus within a consciously chosen space in order to create a hybrid art. Hailing from a painting background his work creates a fusion depicting thereby the possibility of crossing the boundaries between various art disciplines such as photography, painting, acting and body arts. In that he he demonstrates skillfully what Eduardo Paolozzi calls “…the golden ability of the artist to achieve a metamorphosis of quite ordinary things into something wonderful and extraordinary that is neither nonsensical nor morally edifying”. The articulate network of wide ranging strategies he applies to this end prompts me to se his art works as two dimensional sculptures.

The architecture of these two dimensional scuiptures, as well as their functional inner characteristics tend toward  stillness, but let, at the same moment, see the observer their inherent movement as well. They represent frameworks of moments derived from continuity. They are located both in a rural as well as highly urban context, blend, at times, superbly well the current political environmental with the historical in order to evoke the contemporary. 

His motive are studiously searching for a sense of belonging in order to illuminate and valourise life as it is. They tempt us to scrutinize the meaning of higher qualities of life. The beauty and significance of his motives are designed to bear witness to the st rong and indelible values of the cultural corridors they depict. Captured inside certain centimeters these pictures, these mindscapes, if you like, portrary the limitless inner world of human existence, of fantasy and imagination. Their challenge is simply to attract and enhance attention to the momentary which is the very basis of the permanence. These formations comprise the artistic behaviour, rather artistic achievement, of his art deriving from the cultural bases he moves around in: Past with the Present, historical with the contemporary, fokloristic with the post-modern, and the public sphere with the private one. In all of them it is the dynamism of the static which grasps the spectator.

At the same time these mindscapes are bodyscapes as well. As such they assume an important role particularly in the depiction of the veiled body – to make the ‘particular’ out of  ‘general’. The domination of the veil is not to hid or fortify the body but to present it forth, to call attention to the veiled. They awaken the hidden poetry in them, embalm their rhythmic wounds. They disturb, and emblam that disturbance with the onlookers own personal imagination. Thus, these mindscapes allow the viewer, the preceptor the perfect space to escape from the subtleties of life as well as wander into the vistas of a snoothing imagination. It is this healing power of Diwan Manna’s rhetorical mindscapes that prompted me to present him to the Berlin eyes.

Rajvinder Singh

Rajvinder Singh is Berlin based Poet & Writer