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Bamboo Arts Exhibition

May 27, 2018 saw the opening of the exhibition of bamboo arts by Kartar Singh Sonkhle, Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh. It was inaugurated by the Punjabi artist Mr.Ashwani Kumar Verma; Mr. Ramesh Chander and Mrs. Larisa Surgina, respectively the Indian Curator and the Russian Curator of the IRMT. Bamboo grows in abundance in the Himalayan foothills and provides an ample construction material for the people of Himachal. Easy to carve and chisel, it can also be used as a handicrafts material – the feature Mr. Sonkhle has learnt to successfully exploit.

During the opening ceremony and after, the question “How do you manage to fit a building in a bottle?” was on everybody’s lips but Mr. Sonkhle artfully avoided the answer choosing not to reveal his trade secret…

Showing considerable dedication and creativity, Mr. Sonkhle has made models of traditional Himachali temples including the famous ones like Bhimakali, Hadimba, Mamaleshwar, Parashar and the famous Christchurch in Shimla; the model of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the raw material sculptures like the figures of cranes and pigeons fashioned out of pine cones; and the fascinating miniature models of Pahari houses fitted in bottles. A relatively large model of the famous Naggar temple of Tripura Sundari was a special attraction of the exhibition. Making the models of temples and other structures Mr. Sonkhle works with geometrical precision maintaining the original proportions of each building, which makes his copies exact and easily recognizable.

“My works are never for sale, although they do enjoy popularity: I would like them to be displayed in museums and be seen by many people rather than decorate one man’s living room,” said the artist thanking the IRMT management for providing him with the opportunity to exhibit in such an inspirational place as the Roerich Estate in Naggar.