Shashi Tharoor talks about art in India and its future
India is the mother of all arts- unique styles and architecture. Being a melting pot of different cultures, this reflects in its various art forms too that India offers to the global art lovers. From time immemorial, art has been seen as a medium to understand the lifestyle of the people, whether it is spiritual, religious or any sort of environmental observations. Indian craftsmen have never failed to show their caliber and expertise. They have shown their work through various ways- textiles, metalwork, pottery, sculpture and paintings since olden times. Indian art has evolved through the centuries only to be better than the earlier. Art scholars from all over the world show interest when it comes to Indian traditional art forms. This helps them in knowing the life and culture of Indian people during those times. The day to day activities, the dance performances, the natural beauty, political ideologies, religious beliefs, everything was put into art which speaks more than a thousand words.
However, post-independence Indian art couldn’t gain much attention due to numerous reasons. The artisans couldn’t find enough monetary support to keep up the momentum. Indian art lacks the awareness, appreciation and proper support. However, there are certain ways which have been followed by the artists to stay in the game. Collaboration is one such way which not only provides recognition but also helps in branding. Many art exhibitions and festivals are organized every year to recognize the best painters and possible customers.
To promote tribal and folk art Sheraton Grand Bangalore at Brigade Gateway associates with Tangerine Art Space conducts an exclusive art exhibition- A Mythical Equation, an exhibition of indigenous tribal and folk art at Art Cafe – was inaugurated by Dr. Shashi Tharoor on 7th December 2018.
As the name suggests, this exhibition showcased the indigenous tribal artists and their work in traditional folk art. The exhibition exhibited art forms from various parts of the country. The exhibition “A Mythical Equation” helps in bringing together the best artists from all across India celebrating the local interpretations of the Indian Epic- Ramayana. The artworks are not merely paintings but stories that a painter tells through his paintings. The paintings depict the spirited imagination and meaningful optical description or a story. Tangerine Art truly believes in conserving and supporting the artistic heritage in addition to providing a platform to folk and tribal artists to portray their work.
One can witness different art forms from all across the country- Gond (Madhya Pradesh), Phad and Pichhwai (Rajasthan), Mata ne Pachhedi (Gujarat), Warli (Maharashtra), Patua (West Bengal), Madhubani/Mithila (Bihar), Patta Chitra (Orissa), Bhil (Madhya Pradesh), Garhwa Kam and Bastar (Chhattisgarh). The art on display is by some of the eminent artists from across the country such as Venkat Raman Singh, Kalyan Joshi, Sanjay Chitara, Anil Wangad, Amrita Das, Shailesh Pandit, and Geeta Baria.
Speaking about his latest release “The Paradoxical Prime Minister”, Dr. Shashi Tharoor who inaugurates the event had a book reading followed by conversation in the development of our nation, India. On being asked about the Indian art scenario, Dr. Tharoor said, “I think it’s very important that our art scene become more democratized. Folk art and traditional art should not be reduced to a limit. We should recognize the genius and talent in these individuals. I hope people should be buying these pictures, and not only Husains, Razas, and Tyebs which are sold for millions in auctions. I hope India will create its own economically viable sustainable products through art. We are creating great art”. He also added that by displaying and promoting more artwork, we can uplift our artists and their work economically.
The insufficient government support, lack of public policy, the scarcity of good quality galleries, and minimal educational art institutions lead to the death of Indian art and receives ignorance by the Indian public. Art lovers are trying to create an environment where art and artists can be given importance.
“Government should give tax incentives for art promotion and should also allow CSR money to spend on art and culture. These are the issues that I’m going to recommend to Congress manifesto in 2019 elections”, Dr. Tharoor mentioned.
On one hand, where the art exhibition witnessed the infusion of the original tradition with a touch of artists’ own style, Mithila painting with its central hub located around the town of Madhubani, was earlier seen in the walls, which can be temporarily seen marking an important event like the birth of a new child or a marriage. Madhubani paintings can be recognized by its bold linear forms, its spatial treatment, and expressive colouring which make it popular and also gives a chance to the artists to get recognized individually.
Anil Vangad, who beautifully performs Warli painting, showed his work using dynamic configurations of line and space to express both traditional and new pattern. The paintings were earlier drawn on mud walls with rice powder and then slowly found space to signing names with acrylic on paper and canvas.
Among the Bhill, Pichhwai, Gadhawakam, and several others, my personal favorite is the Pattachitra, a distinctive from Bengal and Orissa. Very well known for its intricate details, one can find mythological narratives, religious stories, social themes and folktales inscribed on a cloth with attractive colours blending in.
If you are an art lover and appreciate the creativity of an artist then this show is for you. We should try to bring the art to the masses and create a society which is aware of and takes pride in showcasing the art, artists, and folklore.
The show will run from December 8th to December 31st, 2018