3 Minutes with Lakshmi Mohanbabu

Three months ago, we welcomed 2 new members to the SPRMRKT family: SPRMRKT Daily and SPRMRKT Kitchen & Bar at our new venue in Robertson Quay, within STPI—Creative Workshop & Gallery. As we settled in, we knew it would bring much joy to be able to dine in the presence of art, and enjoy the supermarket experience, redefined, in our new space as well.

As we debut our one-piece art exhibitions at SPRMRKT Daily, we are honoured to have up and coming Singaporean artist Lakshmi Mohanbabu‘s acrylic masterpiece, Iron Rust II, adorn our walls.


Iron Rust II is part of the Strata Morphosis series of 6 paintings based on the idea of change and layers that are gathered through the cycle of life.

1) Growing up, were you always interested in art?

I have been drawing for as long as I can remember, all through my childhood I did portraits/caricatures of my friends and people around me.

2) What were some of your earliest influences which inspired you to become an artist?

Both my parents were creatively inclined. 

My training as an architect and a fashion designer put me on the path to doing what I really enjoyed doing i.e. drawing painting and creating works of art. 

3) You are such a multi-faceted artist and dabble in so many mediums, genres and styles, do you have a favourite?

In terms of mediums it would be graphite pencils, genres would be Figurative and style would be Impressionism.


Expressions by Lakshmi Mohanbabu

4) How does representation and a tendency towards abstraction find a balance in your work? 

The mind plays tricks on us. With the play of light and shadow what we see are indeed abstract shapes  even in realistic representation, not what we think we see. I don’t view them as separate which is what helps me balance the two concepts. 

Interaction series:

5) What do you consider the most indispensable item in your studio?

There is a Long list but if I had to choose it would be my 3 inch flat chisel brush. 

6) Which was the first artwork you ever sold?

The first artworks I sold were a series on disability for the voluntary health association of India in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1992. 

7) Which was the most recent exhibition you attended?

The Art And Science Of Gems by Van Cleef and Arpels at MBS. 

8) Which living artist do you find most inspiring? Why?

Patrick Hughes. I find his creation of the concept of reverse perspectives truly inspiring and original. 

Reverspective Painting by Patrick Hughes - Imgur.gif

Reverspective painting by Patrick Hughes

9) Are there any living contemporary artists which constantly surprise you?

The works of Danish Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson.


Deep mirror (yellow),  2016 by Olafur Eliasson

10) Do you think that your architectural training provides you with a discipline or structure which makes for a unique artistic perspective?

Yes it definitely does. The process and structure while planning and making an art work is something I learnt during my architectural training. Steps and methodology in perspective drawing, visualisation in 3D has helped me not only in drawing abstract or structural but also figurative forms with what I think would be a different viewpoint. 

11) Are you working on any new projects?

Yes. I have a few planned as well. 

12) How do you see the art market evolving?

Shifts from primary to secondary to online markets hasn’t taken long. I do think more art will be viewed online. But the need to appreciate art up close will never die. 

13) If you could choose any other profession or life calling, what would it be?

Being a mathematician.

14) Living or dead, which artists will you invite to your ideal dinner party?

Filippo Brunelleschi for his invention of linear perspective Marie Guillemine Benoist an accomplished woman artist of who there were so few, Rembrandt for his absolute mastery of the brush  

Giuseppe Arcimboldo whose works predate surrealism, Leonardo da Vinci for his inventive mind, Michelangelo for his versatility, Alphonse Mucha and René Gruau for their depictions of Parisian life, Katsushika Hokusai for his woodcut prints, Sargent for his beautiful portraits, Turner for his brilliant landscapes. The list could go on!  I would need a few dinner parties to interact with each one!


Iron Rust II will be on show till 27 November 2016. For enquiries on how to exhibit and purchase art, do write to us at daily@sprmrkt.com.sg.

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