Seema Mathew is a self-taught artist, she embraced art as her life’s calling in 2014 after recovery from illness. Her brush with death in return gave birth to a new understanding of the fragility of time. Seema’s work has spiritual and philosophical undertones, the many layers of human nature reflected in the layers of ink.
Early in Seema’s artistic practice she accidentally discovered the unusual effect of Chinese ink on canvas, and she spent the next 5 years experimenting and researching this medium.
Seema’s artistic philosophy is one of constant curiosity, seeking inspiration in the most complex artist and architect of all - nature. She’s fascinated by the sciences, and sees art as a way of bridging the gap between the scientific/rational left brain and the intuitive/emotional right brain, a contradiction echoed internally in the struggle between control and chaos. The resulting artwork evokes the Taoist philosophy of the union of yin and yang through expressive abstract landscapes. The complexity of human relationships and the struggle of the human against the environment, particularly acute in Hong Kong’s crowded urbanscape, are underlying themes in her work. Of Indian descent, Seema has been based in Hong Kong for over two decades and her art is deeply influenced by her personal experiences and lived environment.
A passionate recycler, in early 2020, Seema created the series “Ugly-Beautiful” with recycled linen paper and styrofoam. Since then she has been experimenting with ink and water soluble graphite on linen paper, adapting techniques that she has “invented” for ink on canvas.
Seema’s most recent work is inspired by the abstract images seen when looking at dried paint on her work table through a microscope. Seema begins this current series by making intuitive strokes with water soluble graphite on linen paper. The painted sheets are hand cut into round panels, and adhered precisely on archival quality mat board.
The solid red panel is Seema’s signature, a creative adaptation of the traditional Chinese artist’s name stamp.