Visual artist Divaagar, 27, has made a name in creating lush, sensorial installations. A notable work staged last July at The Substation, Singapore Is For Lovers, saw him transforming, among other things, a toilet cubicle into a luminous space awash in hot pink light, plants and fur. His practice involves exploring identities and the body through a reimagination of physical spaces and environments, but he does so in a manner that is deeply personal. “I’m very invested in what’s happening in my physical environment, social movements and the emotional states of people around me, and what I try to do is encapsulate these sensations and experiences and frame them through the installations,” explains Divaagar.
There is also a sense of campiness in his aesthetic. “Pink is my favourite colour and (it) comes with many connotations; from femininity, to queerness, to love. It approaches with softness and can also wield such electricity, depending on how it’s utilised.” That his works can come with many readings is also manifestly evident in his kaleidoscopic digital illustration for Female: Hockney-inspired poolside tableau replete with florid elements such as floating starfishes and outsized fauna. “I wanted to illustrate something fun and tropical with little undercurrents within the image,” says the artist. Such expansiveness with reimagining spaces is keeping him busy. While Divaagar has previously staged solo exhibitions here and in Shanghai, this month, he’ll be collaborating with Japanese artist Ryosuke Tanaka at UltraSuperNew Gallery (Singapore), with more “peculiarities encroaching our local venues soon”. Translation? Expect more quirky installations to come.
This article first appeared in the January 2020 print issue of FEMALE.