Hold on to your dragons

By on January 30, 2012
To say that artist Divya Cherian is a breath of fresh air would be putting it mildly. She is a veritable whirlwind of exhilarating and passionate energy, whose power to inspire through her artwork is irrepressible.
Born in Paris to Indian parents, raised in London, resident of Tokyo, and World traveller, Divya is also fascinated by dragons. And like these mythological creatures, she has the power to invoke the imagination that so many of us left behind in our childhood.

It was during her time as an art student in the UK, that Divya was first captivated by the dragons depicted in Japanese ‘Sumi-e’ ink drawings, which started her on her exploration of Japanese culture. Whilst living in Nikko for two years, with only the most basic Japanese, she learned the craft of Nikko Bori woodcarving at Nikko Woodcarving Centre.  In Tokyo she performs regularly with the Taiko drum group Waraku Daiko.

Divya takes her appreciation and understanding of these traditional art forms, and breathes new life into them by bringing them into more modern surroundings. Since returning to Tokyo in 2009, she has produced backdrops for Tokyo International Players and Waraku Daiko, designed fliers for numerous music and fundraising events, painted wall and window murals for Nikko Park Lodge and Bar Oilviero, and most recently started ‘live painting’ at Las Chicas, The Pink Cow, and Nishi Azabu Super Deluxe.
At these events she arrives with nothing but a big blank sheet of paper, her sumi-e inks, gold and red paints and marker pens. To the accompaniment of live musicians, she begins to paint her dragons. Onlookers are curious, and approach tentatively at first. When Divya then invites them to add to the drawing, they are often hesitant at first for fear of spoiling her work. But as the evening progresses and inhibitions are overcome, audience members pitch in and lend a hand to complete the painting. Several of these have been sent up to Tohoku as part of her ongoing work with ‘Tokyo Helps’, a non-governmental organisation that raises funds for the victims of humanitarian disasters around the world.
To Divya, “The arts are elemental,” and she states clearly “I have no time for those who open the doors but to the chosen few.” Her unbounded enthusiasm is compelling to all who meet her, which clearly comes from her deeply rooted belief in the power of art to inspire, to bring joy, and to bring people together.

In addition to designing, painting and mural work, this month sees the launch of her latest venture – ‘Curry Creative’ art classes. Budding artists of all levels are invited to join Divya in a relaxed afternoon of drawing. All materials are provided and when the work is done you will be rewarded with a delicious home-cooked meal of authentic Southern Indian cooking, straight from her own mama’s recipes.

And with her new ‘skid lid’ dragon design stickers for helmets, bikes and boards in the making, she is soon to be embarking on the back of motorbike to get the dragons flying! Ain’t no stoppin’ her now. Divya Cherian is well and truly on her way. Be sure not to miss her!

Contact Divya at funkymurals@bitetherainbow.com  
Tel: 090-9107-4742 www.bitetherainbow.com

About TF Tribe