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Vijai Patchineelam


Rio-born Vijai Patchineelam is an artist whose work combines photography, video, and publications. His art has been featured in several solo and group exhibitions at key galleries and museums, including the Pac, Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea and the Castlefield Gallery. Vijai has been featured in articles for the Frieze Magazine and Saatchi Online. For his practice, he does not rely on inspiration. Consistency is more important to him. Work, he claims, happens automatically. Born to an Indian father and a Brazilian mother, Patchineelam’s work displays none of the colour of those two lands; instead, a dull monochrome effect is what strikes you most. He argues that one should not paint in colour as every colour brings its own flavor to a painting, and creates a digression from the actual work.


“When I work in the studio, I try to get some kind of activity going. It doesn’t have to be anything special. It could start as a prank. The important thing is to gain some kind of momentum and then work tends to take care of itself. There’s no need to sit and wait for inspiration,” he says. (From “Monotone Vitality,” by Shweta Sharma in The Sunday Guardian, Delhi, Jan. 16, 2011.)


Patchineelam completed a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from the School of Fine Arts at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and earned an MFA in Experience Design from the Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm, Sweden. He later went on to pursue a PhD at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp. His 2018 work, Sambashiva – The Photographs of Sambasiva Rao Patchineelam, was a research project working with the photographic archive of his father Sambasiva Rao Patchineelam, that resulted in the publication of an artist’s book discussing the themes of authorship, editing and image appropriation.