acrylic on canvas
45 x 60 cm

Visithra Manikam

Visithra Manikam stands out in the contemporary art world, not only for her self-taught prowess and her poignant thematic explorations into issues of discrimination but also for her recognition as one of Asia’s Most Influential by Tatler Asia. Her work has been globally exhibited, including cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo, and she’s slated for a solo exhibition at Cica Museum, Seoul.

Yet, despite such accolades and an international presence, Manikam’s work has encountered the familiar artist’s plight of rejection, underscoring that artists are not immune to the subjective gatekeeping of the art world. This narrative of overcoming the often unseen barriers adds a compelling layer to her participation in the Salon de Refusées. 

Rejection is a normal process in any career. Sometimes it just means this was not the right show or opportunity for you. However you may face additional gatekeeping in some countries as a minority. My advice is never stop believing in yourself and regardless of how many rejections you receive, focus on your wins instead. 

– Visithra Manikam

Visithra Manikam’s “Unseen” is an evocative piece that draws the viewer into a somber reflection on societal indifference. Through the medium of acrylic on canvas, Manikam skillfully illuminates the lives of those relegated to the margins of society. This artwork is a poignant commentary on the overlooked individuals who dwell in the interstices of urban life, often unseen and unrecognized.

Manikam’s approach combines a poignant realism with a touch of abstraction, directing attention to the emotional and social experience of invisibility. The play of light and shadow in her work metaphorically represents the societal visibility of marginalized individuals. Her brushwork brings the texture of their experience to the surface, compelling the viewer to acknowledge and empathize with the lived realities often ignored by the mainstream.

“Unseen” contributes a critical voice to the Salon de Refusées, resonating with the exhibition’s theme of giving space to art that defies conventional acknowledgment and challenges the observer to look beyond the surface. Manikam’s work extends an invitation to confront the discomfort of inequality and the failure of social support systems, echoing the Salon’s commitment to art that addresses pressing contemporary issues.

Everyday we walk past people who we never notice. Sometimes they stand in the shadows of old broken down windows watching the city move past. Some stand in the shadows of alleys and staircases. These individuals, whether due to homelessness, social isolation, or other circumstances, exist in the shadows, their stories unknown. Their invisibility highlights the gaps in our social support systems and calls for a reevaluation of our priorities as a society. Their presence, albeit often ignored, serves as a stark reminder of the importance of empathy and compassion. When we acknowledge the existence of these unseen people, we confront the uncomfortable truths about inequality and how we do not include them. used by the incredible creations that Artists bring to this world!

Visithra Manikam


The "Salon de Refusées" is an art initiative inspired by the historic 1863 Paris exhibition. It's a platform celebrating female (read) artists who've faced rejection, turning exclusion into empowerment. Our project is dedicated to showcasing art in its most authentic form, creating a space where diverse voices and stories are seen and revered. Join us in this artistic uprising, where each piece adds to our resilience and the unyielding spirit of creativity.