Born in 1971, Bala began life in a village in the outskirts of Madras. An accidental conversation in a train led him to the Government College of Fine arts, Madras. Journeys, rather than arrival points, would continue to resonate in his work. Bala has travelled through several countries, staying for more than 6 months in 7 locations. Although Bala desists from drawing attention to the above, his international experiences coupled with his rootedness to a south Indian cultural ethos have allowed him to leapfrog trends that continue to engage his contemporaries.
This brief period has spawned a significant and daring body of work that seems equally at comfort in sculpture, printmaking, and mixed media. The materials employed vary in form and content, moving between, plaster, silkscreen prints and paper relief.
From a purely Indian perspective, it appears as if Bala has leaped out from the confines of his context, and landed squarely outside the strict formalism of the modernists. These works are lyric celebrations that delight in aesthetic imbalance and challenge our ways of viewing. This is clearly not a conceptual country, but a quiet move-back towards, say, the humanism of Joseph Beuys – an early influence. And what we are left with is not merely the physical work, but our reaction to it. Action leads to reaction, or, as Bala puts it, “without Shiva, there’s no Shakti”.