From oil-on-canvas to water colours and sketches, a range of artworks created by the eighth Prime Minister of India, the late VP Singh, post the 1993 Mumbai riots is on display at Aryan Art Gallery.
The exhibition comprising a total of 56 paintings made by Singh till his death in the year 2008, opened on Wednesday evening.
“My father went on a fast after the 1993 Mumbai riots and fell seriously ill. During the time when he was recuperating he went back to his paintings and sketches. The ones which are exhibited here were painted during that period,” Ajeya Singh, the son of the late political leader said.
Singh’s protest fast after the 1993 Mumbai riots almost cost him his life, damaging his kidneys and aggravating bone-marrow cancer. Realising that he could no longer be active in politics, Singh went back to his first love - painting. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who inaugurated the show said, “He was a politician of a different stature as compared to others in his generation. He had many followers and many haters. His politics was of a different genre. When he fell ill, he used to take his painting brush along with him for his treatment. He was a politician, a painter as well as a poet.”
Most of Singh’s untitled paintings focuses on various facets of human life and landscapes in black and white and colour. The most intriguing one would be the cycle of a human being’s life.
“He was painting this particular piece; I was with him. I was quite young that time but he explained what this particular painting signifies. He tried to portray life cycle of man in this particular painting,” granddaughter of the former Prime Minister, Adrija Manjari Singh said. One of the collection’s most expensive painting a black and white abstract is priced above Rs 4.5 lakh. “The abstract painting is one of the most expensive of the lot here. But my favourite one I think would be the painting where he has depicted a shivlinga in a temple. The colours in the painting are so vibrant but yet it is upon you to decide what my father was trying to explain through the piece,” Adrija said. A poet, a painter and a photographer Singh who passed away in the had championed cause of anti-corruption in the country and is remembered by his fellow colleagues for the same. He started a program against corruption and tried to change the situation of the country during that time. He was a very good human being and a creative person,” Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, who was present during the innaguration said.
Singh’s paintings have been previously exhibited at the Nehru Center, London, the Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai and at the Kerala Lalit Kala Akademi, Thiruvananthapuram.