IAF DIARIES: ART INDUS
Art Indus brings to the IAF two important and serious of practitioners of art – the first is the legendary sculptor and mentor Rajinder Tiku and the second is Neeraj Bakshi. Both artists are deeply introspective and contemplative individuals who have been practicing for at least four decades.
Tiku is both sculptor and thinker and he plays with the idea of metaphors in the medium of materiality. According to him art needs to be understood and internalised as an attitude that helps us to imbibe tradition and effort to transcend it to build a new psychological makeup. When he had his show at Threshold in Delhi he said: "Looking at this phenomenon from the point of view of human perception also, one understands that a society's grasp of its part becomes a source of creativity in the present. It stimulates all forms of contemporary expression, allowing the meaning to seep through images, shapes and a plethora of the other cultural activities. While looking at this phenomenon of past and present as a continuum, where lines of distinction between historical memories and personal experiences blur (if not disappear), we realise an eternal source which energises us to flow on to be a part and parcel of the same."
Based broadly on this understanding, Tiku has been trying to bring out a tangible form, the seemingly intangible aspect of the silent and sacred embedded in our civilizational life and tradition – you can see this message in his works that translate the idea of the shrine. Inspired by shapes of objects ranging from mundane ones located in our immediate surroundings, to the visual grandeur of monuments located in the trajectory of the timelessness, Tiku's brilliance lies in his ability to create in stone images that have been perceived from a quantum of images and symbols that usher technical, intellectual and philosophical human endeavours into realm of the universal.
Neeraj Bakshi's hand is one of stealth and serene minimalism. Travel and experience have shaped his understanding - a few years ago Bakshi travelled to Africa and toured the forests in the east of the continent. His entire perspective changed. This was reflected in his work, and the watercolours breathed both beauty and substance in the idea of living.
They reflect his concern with humans and the surroundings they share. These watercolours at Art Indus are fresh and have a transparency that makes them look as if they radiate a soft light. His figures mirror a definite international influence, as he spends time soaking rich artistic and architectural heritage of the places he
visits. While the works look gentle there is also great pain, his works are associated with ritual iconography, but they are put together in the context of the everyday living. Bakshi buttresses deep environmental concerns with a sensitive balance of line and colour, which gives his work the ambience of a lighter prism. The inbuilt tenor of pathos and pain both add to the realm of solitary creation within his own orbit of compositional clarity.
(The above mentioned story is part of the series on India Art Fair 2018, which will be carried till the fair ends.)