The paintings of Kim Oberoi are colorful, abstract, and otherworldly. Neither overly detailed or simplistic, her creations seem to have come from an abstract dimension filled with beauty and allure.
Kim Oberoi is an Indian self-taught painter who currently resides in Dubai. She has exhibited internationally. Inspired by consciousness, meditation, energy healing practices and the multi- dimensions of human awareness, Kim weaves insinuations about environments, society, and personal experiences into her paintings.
She grew up admiring her father’s paintings, Kim pursued her passion for painting even through her college years; she ultimately earned a BA in Hotel Management, from the University of Huddersfield, UK.
Kim now focuses most of her time to creative endeavors. Her pieces are instantly recognizable for their bold colors, circular movements, and stylistic techniques. And recently discussed her work via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially get interested in becoming an artist and how did you start to exhibit?
Kim Oberoi (KO): Art was always a part of my life. After traveling the world and working in different industries like hospitality, real estate, facilities management, I reached a point where I started to question my purpose in life cause even though I performed all my jobs with utmost duty it never made me feel happy, I felt a void like there was a missing link. On the journey to self-realization and finding my purpose, I realized that I had dedicated my entire life to art in my personal time and I wanted to make it my profession because I felt intense passion when it came to creating in terms of painting, it was my calling. That was the turning point in my life when art became my power more than just a survival tool. In order to start off my artistic career I took forward the series I was already working on back in 2008 which was figurative art/illustrative portraits “mind and soul”, dedicate to feminism, power and equality, worked on my portfolio. In 2010 I went public with my work to private collectors. Approximately a year after that I started to approach galleries, curators and agents. Initially, I faced a lot of rejection due to the subject of my work locally. However, I was given the opportunity to show case my work in several exhibitions and list my works on online galleries as well in Dubai and Germany much later. I have created six series of work in the past influenced by different phases of my life. I received genuine support from like minded that have a huge contribution to my journey. Few are a part of my team and represent my work in Dubai, Zareen Khan, PR and founder of Women2women, and Bhavika Makwana, graphic and web designer, founder of Whiterose Creatives.
MM: How did your childhood influence your creativity?
KO: Growing up years were hard as a very emotionally sensitive child and a strong empath while experiencing unhappy childhood, expressing myself while creating came very naturally to me. I started with wildlife and human portraits realistic works, at a very young age, I did not have a formal training in art at any stage. I have always created works through brain mapping, observation and self- study. It always made me feel calm, fulfilled and engulfed me in the aura of safety and freedom. Art has always been an ambassador of my fighting spirit. At every stage my copying mechanism to bullying, difficult relationships, career dilemmas to bitter divorce to anxieties of motherhood, was art/creating as one of the hopes for a better tomorrow. In every different phase of my life, I was completely engulfed in different styles/disciples of art, which went through the similar process of creation as mentioned above. Just few years ago, I embraced abstract art as my effort to let go for a healed future and along came energy healing and together these are a part of identity now. As well as my tribute to energy healing through my second series of work called, “Meditation”, botanical paintings, fine arts.
MM: You earned a degree in hotel management, so does working in the hotel industry inspire you in any ways?
KO: The degree in hotel management (IHM Taj Group of Hotels & Resorts & University of Huddersfield, UK) has had a massive influence in grooming me as a true professional at various levels and in sharpening my leadership skills. My research and development skills have been adopted and applied from their curriculum, which has helped me with visual self-study to curate my own painting techniques and art forms that are original. It trained me to present myself to the world with confidence, that has given me the edge in every industry I worked for in the past and the same carries forward to art world as well. Decision making, time management, how to be a team player, work ethics, sense of pride for my work are just few to mention. It played a huge part in shaping me as a professional which has also positively impacted my personal life.
MM: You have traveled extensively, so did that influence your work at all?
KO: As an avid traveler who has been fortunate enough to see 120 destinations across the world and worked with about 140 nationalities spanned over a decade, I found ultimate solace in the lap of art inspired by different people, behaviors patterns and cultures. It broadened my horizons, perspective and awareness of societies, environment and human relations and allowed the influences of those experiences to raise the level of my work from a global point of view in terms of technique/craft, originality of my work and concerns/response. Art is the common language that speaks to everyone regardless of his/her culture, race or religion. As a visual communicator, I find this to be the strongest means to connect societies, encourage dialogue and create harmony. I believe that every artist is a global citizen, who plays a key role in changing the narrative, enabling exchange of ideas and creating impact at a global level and I take that as a responsibility towards my craft.
MM: Why does the relationship between human consciousness and art interest you?
KO: I was always a very emotionally sensitive child, what I can logically understand from my memory and being a very strong empath, always left a question in my mind that there has to be something out there for people like us, a tool or a purpose, given the fact that I processed the information I received from my surroundings and from within very differently, which was/is very detailed, logical, and multi-sensory, which left me and people around me overwhelmed most of the time. Energy healing then came into my life and that experience completely turned my life around for good. When I first experienced energy healing, it was a magical, larger than life and out of this world kind of an experience, very euphoric and fulfilling. By tapping in a different/ higher dimension of my consciousness and awareness through energy healing and meditations, it helped me clear my thoughts, focus and increase the creativity be creating emotional and logical balance operating from place of love, trust and abundance creating peace & harmony within self. It sharpened my eye for detail, strengthened my intuition and helped me find better channels to convey my message or narrate my story and thorough process. Needless to say, my health got better and I do rely on self-healing through energy healing (reiki, quantum healing and intuitive healing) through meditation and art as a part of my everyday life. It has and continues to enhance my creativity by hundred-fold higher along with other technical support of experimenting and exploring through art by enhancing my brain mapping capabilities and assisting me along with self- study to come up with my own painting techniques and forms of art which are original.
As a person it has made me confident, independent, and self-reliant while increasing my intuition. Painting for me has always been my expression of how I perceive the information from a certain phase of my life which were influenced by many factors like society, environment, personal experiences and relation with other human beings and my response to the same with a fighting spirit. This when I saw as a case study from an outside perspective, I wanted to share it with the world to have a healed future, heal one you heal all creating peace and harmony across societies and different cultures. Raising our state of mind in a current situation that we may be facing or experiencing that is holding us back as person from evolving and reaching our purpose as an individual and tapping into our higher state of being by adopting these tools that are available in abundance to each and every one of us who seeks it, that leads to a healed future at a global level is the purpose behind this series. Specially in time of Covid-19 where there is misery at a global level, providing each and all with hope is the purpose of this series. Hope is a very important need and aspect of our lives, and it can do wonders for anyone and everyone.
MM: What it is about yellows and light blues that most appeals to you?
KO: The colors that I have intuitively selected for these works are aligned with my state of being and purpose in life, blue/aqua/turquoise represents the healing nature of water, the power and fighting spirit of stormy seas along with freedom of open air, which seeks to create balance and stability through inner healing, peace, growth and energy. Yellow shades on the other hand provides you with hope and positivity which are the basis of life force towards enthusiasm and enlightenment, in order to find personal strength to turn dreams and goals to reality and one’s purpose in life with courage, determination and dedication. As a viewer it will encourage a dialogue about introspective journeys, symbolizing wisdom and depth of understanding while encouraging communication about human awareness/consciousness.
MM: Your pieces are very striking, so what is the best feedback you’ve received about your art?
KO: There have been many instances where people feel calm and relaxed when they see my work some say it’s larger-than-life and the works are beautiful. But the one that really stands out is, when I was told that, my works bring them “power”, they feel they can achieve anything in life, they feel purposeful and driven. And some of them can’t describe the feeling, they just love them as though they are completely immersed in the aura. And others say these works really intrigue them.
MM: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
KO: Such an exciting news that leads us to the future of visual arts. I am absolutely delighted to share with you the great news that my work has been selected and I am listed as one of the Loupe Artists www.loupeart.com, Loupe® is a visual content streaming platform creating a new experience of art and culture in our daily lives, the future of visual arts. Also, I recently was recognized as the “Artist of the Month”, with artjobs, along with being shortlisted for “Emerging Scene Art Prize”, Dubai, UAE. My works are scheduled to be featured with the largest digital gallery across Elivision network, Dubai and AbuDhabi. My works were recently auctioned and are listed with Wondike Auction House, Milan and I have a few exhibitions lined up internationally for the coming months. As well as my cover story by Tessy Koshy.
MM: How do you hope your career evolves and expands from here?
KO: As I aspire to have my works reach a global platform to be able to speak through my work to the global audience, in order, to make a positive impact on the lives of people as well the future of arts and humanity as a collective, as the opportunities arise and present themselves is a part of that journey which is ongoing and is a work in progress. I am humbled with a lot of gratitude in my heart for the ones achieved. I am blessed to work empowered and enabled human beings around the world currently and the collectors worldwide for their faith in my work. I am hoping to expand my horizons as an artist towards my craft as that is ever evolving and my first and foremost responsibility towards my work. And I hope to stay true to my purpose always.
MM: What events, projects, or exhibitions are coming up soon and is there anything else that you would like to discuss?
KO: Live streaming my channel – Kim Oberoi at Loupe Art is one of the exciting projects at hand with the launch of first time ever availability of prints of my works “fragmented transmutation”, my works are scheduled to be featured with the largest digital gallery across Elivision network, Dubai and AbuDhabi under “Emerging Scene Art Prize”, with Current online exhibition of one of my works at Laguna Art Gallery, CA, as well the Virtual 3d exhibition of my work, “Artidotum”, Studio Artemesia, Aqvart, Venice, Scheduled physical exhibition of my work, “Water, nature and laguna environment”, Aqvart in venice, upcoming online exhibition with 118 gallery “chasing the blue bird”, group exhibitions.
As an effort to create a positive impact towards the society, as an artist and understanding the impact of art in education and how that can enhance the future for the young soul and their personalities leading towards a peaceful society with harmonious human beings, as well with an aim to reach each ones potential and purpose as aspiring young talent/artist. I have been running the Creative Enhancement Programme, custom made module curated by myself for the kids and adults for the last three years locally in Dubai. In July, I launched “The 360° Workshop” in collaboration with Ruth Elizabeth, an intuitive healer & coach and author. This workshop combines meditation/healing followed by art therapy for adults locally, Dubai, UAE.