Mother Mangalam

Mother Mangalam

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Dimension: 153cm x 153cm
Year: 2013
In Collection of Petronas Art Gallery

The Painting

Mother Mangalam is the co-founder of Pure Life Society. It is a place where orphans and children who are less fortunate are given love in their hearts and education to fill their minds.

I had the privilege of meeting her and was amazed with her “inner light” that seemed so warm yet there was an enigmatic feeling that made me want to portray her beyond a painting.

I have been working with light, sound and aroma for a long while and this exhibition gave me a space to put them together. Each of us are a combination of the three and through my years in the art field as an experimenter , I couldn’t but feel an incompleteness when a portrait is done where it merely acts as a decoration, an imitation of an existing image.

I have always been mesmerized with nature…the natural landscapes that decorate the “canvas of earth”…with the birds chirping, decorated by the colours of nature, wind and the other elements together in performance…a life exhibit!

I took the sound from her name, got the aroma of the lotus that she uses as a symbol all around her, energised her face and invoked the “inner light” through the use of my own colour key to experience Mother Mangalam’s presence on the stage of the observers mind…just like a performance!


The sound composition which you are hearing now is resonating with her name Mang-Ga-Lam, three notes which are in constant reverberation. I have used instruments in the place of the human voice to allow the sound to seep in without the distraction of words that would hinder a natural flow of vibration into the body.

Sounds were originally used to influence and balance the vibratory points in the body. Each portion responds to a sound vibration and names were designed in the olden days using certain vibration that responds to a particular portion of the body.

When a sound is repeated constantly, it has the power to influence certain vibratory points. Sound vibrations have been known to alter form and this has been demonstrated through the study of Cymatics.

Sound is blended into and in this case the vibration of the name is musically composed to synergies the biorhythm of the subject.


Colours have a natural vibrance and by the use of blue and red in proportion, the background is made in the image of the deep sky. Like the shimmering of the stars in the night, the highlights in the painting is further enhanced with the glow that emanates through the bright colours.


I have further enhanced the environment by using aroma of her favorite flower the lotus to give it a personal touch.

Symbolic Structure

The symbol that I have placed next to her is an ancient method of story telling where the origin and the lifetyle is depicted symbolically. A lion is placed at the bottom to show that she was born in Singapore and the Owl is a symbol is I use for the Monday born which is Mother Mangalam’s birth day.

The bar is a symbol of her family. The two side bars on the left represents her two brothers and the five on the left her sister’s. A Chameleon is a symbol for the Thursday born. Her guide and teacher, Swami Satyanandha is a Thursday born and the symbol on top is the unity temple which is the symbol of her foundation.

“We are all but of the same”.


Posted on

June 29, 2015