PROFILE OF VIJAYALAKSHMI MOHAN
Vijaya Mohan started learning Rangoli in Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India, at the tender age of five at the feet of her mother and used to be so fascinated by Rangoli that she used to try different designs, different mediums and visit neighbours to observe their drawings and try to improve on it even whilst in school . She had taken part in many local Rangoli competitions in school, college and in her neighbourhood and won several prizes.
After marriage she moved to Bombay and here she had a chance to draw Rangoli at big establishments like Shanmukhananda Sabha ( a 3000 seat auditorium) for a big audience, President’s Hotel for Japanese tourists, Nehru Planeterium, Dharma Kshetra, Mitra Mandals (Community Centres) etc .
Vijaya Mohan moved to Singapore in 1993 and has done thousands of Rangoli demonstrations in Singapore but starting documenting her events only from 1999. She has displayed her talent at over few hundred major Commercial, Social and Art establishments as well as numerous Schools, Colleges and Community Centres such as,
Art establishments include the Esplanade, National Arts Council, Indian Heritage Board, Singapore National Museum, History Museum, La Salle of Arts, Apsara Arts (graduation for Japanese students), PA Orchestra etc.
Govt & Social organizations – Presidential Palace, Hindu Endowment Board, SINDA, Rotary Clubs, Sai Baba Organsiation, Ministry of Health, Minsitry of Defence (Army 2000) etc
Community Centres: Whampoa , Henderson , Marine Parade , Paya Lebar , Potong Pasir , Toa Payoh, Serangoon North etc. etc for Deepavalli, Pongal (Harvest festival) and Racial Harmony Days
Schools/Colleges: NTU, NUS, LA SALLE , Cedar, St. Michael’s Pri, Bukit Timah Primary, First Toa Payoh Primary, Hwa Chong Junior College, Tanjong Katong Girls School, etc.
Hotels/Commercial Est: Swissotel, Westin Stamford, Raffles, Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong Bank,L’Orreal etc
Rangoli Work shop &Classes: Pei Chun Public School, Macpherson Secondary, Hwa Chong Institution, Anglo Chinese School,Work shops to at schools, SINDA, HEB and Rotary clubs.
Overseas: Gopio World Conference 2003, Mauritius, Livermore Temple , San Jose, USA (2004), International School, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2006), Empire Hotel for Rotary District Convention, Brunei (2008), Hyderabad Intll airport for British Airways Inaugural flight, Hyderabad, India (2008), Dubai Shopping Festival 2009, Dubai.
RECORDS, AWARDS AND HONOURS
||GUINNESS WORLD RECORD : In 2003, Vijaya Mohan encouraged and supported by Whampoa Community Centre broke the Guinness World Record by single-handedly drawing a Rangoli of size 52’x 53’ or 2756 sq. ft (256 sq m)in 7 hours without any break. The previous record was held in U.K of size 30’x30’
SINGAPORE BOOK OF RECORDS: (3 awards in 3 different categories)
Individual endeavours: Largest Rangoli by a single person – 2003
Team endeavours – Supersize – July 2005 involving more than 120 community leaders and drawing a multiracial Rangoli with symbols of all races in Singapore of approx 3000 sq feet size.
Mass participation – Communities – Nov/Dec 2005 involving 950 persons and World’s first giant outdoor weather proof Rangoli outside Esplanade for KALAUTSAVAM, Indian Arts festival.
Team Endeavours- Super size- April 2009 involving more than 100 people, drawing a longest rangoli in Singapore 98.5 mt (about 330 feet) and finished the rangoli with the Prime Minister Mr. Lee Hsien Loong
||Bharat Gaurav Award: In Jan 2006 in Hyderabad awarded by the Governor of Andhra Pradesh for promoting Indian Art overseas.
Vijaya Mohan also has the honour of drawing before the President of Singapore at the Temple Kumbashigam (opening) and at the Walton University Aluminai dinner function . She also drew a Rangoli and lit the Innaugural lamp at the IAEC felicitation ceremony in honour of the Prime Minister Mr. Lee Hsien Loong.
Profession: Vijaya Mohan is a qualified Art Therapist . She started as a Kindergarten school teacher and then moved to Special school teaching Autistic children. She holds a post graduate degree in Art Therapy, diploma in childhood education, a diploma in special education and advanced certificate in autism.
In addition Vijaya is an event organizer for several Indian temples like Kaliamman Temples at Toa Payoh and Serangoon Road. She also teaches Indian Folk dance and folk Arts like Henna, Saree tying, Flower decorations to non-Indians, other Community members and UWAS (University Women’s Association)
Vijaya’s Motto: ” Use your fingers as your paint brushes and the floor as your canvas and enter the Wonderful World of Rangoli”