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Vineet Kacker's chortens

Vineet is a master of pigment and glaze, his chortens deploy a subtle and sombre array of matt earth colours on stoneware, sometimes piqued by a gloss finish, a note of celadon on porcelain

Vineet Kackers chortens

"On my Chinese chortens the spires are wrapped with red thread, indicating today's China, with its new values systems. The stark black and white bodies of the chortens accentuate the dual nature of things – the yin against the yang, the spiritual against the material, the unchanging eternal against the rapidly changing transient," said Vineet about his charming chorten series that grew into tableaus.

At Breaking Ground in JKK Jaipur, his Himalayan Landscape is an amalgamation of his tableaus. Undulating striated mountainous mounds flow in lyrical silence as the little shortens and spirit lamps sit atop punctuating the cold desert. For Vineet, the chorten structure has proven to be a versatile form in which to embed his search for expression. His installation, replete with symbol and enigma communicates the unspoken language of the object, of these vessels.

Vineet is a master of pigment and glaze, his chortens deploy a subtle and sombre array of matt earth colours on stoneware, sometimes piqued by a gloss finish, a note of celadon on porcelain. In a note he says:

"In this series, organic forms referencing Himalayan landscapes interact with the architectural 'chorten' forms. Conceptually the work is about time and timelessness – the lines on the landscape forms allude to the layering of time, a reference to finite or chronological time. The chorten itself is a reliquary, but also a signifier of ancient wisdom - a finger pointing towards the timeless, self-perpetuating nature of existence."

Look closer, the chorten's stacked bases have three root shapes, the square, the circle, and the triangle is imbued with the symbol- ism. The square base reflects the four- pointed aspect of the physical world, made up of Earth, Wind, Fire, Water. The circular body denotes the cyclical, self-perpetuating nature of existence that has no beginning or end. A triangular elevation refers to the tri-fold character of being – Dreaming, Waking, Consciousness.The Himalayas have been a cypher for his genesis as a potter.Qualified as an architect in 1989, he headed for the mountains before taking up his first job. In the Kangra Valley, he connected with Andretta Pottery run by Mary and Mini Singh. Then he went to Ray Meeker and Smith's studio at Pondicherry. This tableau of the Himalayas reveals he has an understanding of the ordering of space: the monumental – man's need to place markers, to define boundaries between states of being.

The Himalayan haunts are part of his inner recesses. The resultant residue is a long and rich investigation of the relationship between the superficial and weaving in the substance of contemplation.

"In a silent world, words seem like an extravagance... but in an intellectual world, words can sometimes serve as a means to point towards the silence," said Vineet a few years ago.

This Himalayan Landscape at the Jawahar Kala Kendra is an invitation to those conversations that arise out of a distilled moment in silence. Don't dwell on photographic Himalayas behind. Instead look closer at the vessels and the undulating mountainscapes.They illustrate the beauty of meditative moorings in the canons of ceramic conversations that flit through time.

Uma Nair

Uma Nair

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