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India’s Culture and Nature Unveiled in the Roerich Estate

Mr. Dhutti mainly displayed his watercolours depicting various scenic beauty spots of Himachal, particularly in the Kullu Valley. He has been visiting Himachal since childhood and is clearly attracted by the incomparable beauty of its mountain landscape. “Nowadays man is getting disconnected from nature, but I try to mend this rift through my art,” says Dhutti.

On May 31-June 6, 2017, the International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT), Naggar, welcomed two professional Delhi-based artists and their show of painting, drawing and sculpture: Mr. Shiv Chander Ahuja and Mr. Bhupinder Dhutti.

Mr. Hemraj Bherwa, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Manali, was the Chief Guest at the opening ceremony. Addressing the gathering, Mr. Bherwa praised the efforts of the two artists and noted that the exhibition was educative for visitors, particularly foreign ones, since it at once presented India’s nature and culture.

Mr. Ahuja is also known for his pen and marker drawings, which fall into three major series: Life, Sufi, and Love & Peace. The first of them explores the mysterious process of new life’s coming into being and conveys the message of life’s eternity. In the works of this series one can see nature endlessly recreating itself on the examples of the various stages of flower’s blossoming and seed’s sprouting. The second series running into a whopping 300 works focuses on the spiritual journey of a Sufi. It is based on the underlying ideas of Sufism (eternity of human soul, unity of the Divine, etc.) and saturated with the artist’s original imagery (for instance, bird symbolizing the soul’s flight from the shackles of the body towards its source, the Divine).

The artist prefers watercolour – the most challenging medium brooking no correction – and uses it with considerable ease despite the painstaking detailing seen in many of his works. At the exhibition, one could see his majestic depiction of the looming massif of Manimahesh Kailash, the silvery thread of Beas, the traditional dwellings still surviving in some Himachali villages, and the impressive rendering of isolated houses in the wilderness. One painting depicted the typical and recognizable Kashmiri landscape with its dazzlingly yellow mustard fields in the backdrop of bluish hills.

A sculptor by profession, Mr. Shiv Chander Ahuja displayed several bronze pieces forming part of his extensive series dedicated to the traditional Indian musicians that he depicts playing sarangi (the Indian precursor of modern violin) and drums mesmerized by their own tunes. Describing the process of his work Mr. Ahuja says, “I observe playing musicians sometimes for the whole day until the rhythm of their movements is etched in my mind. And then I attempt to capture it in bronze.” The idea of the series is to demonstrate the universal appeal of music, which captivates everyone irrespective of their ethnicity and social standing.

The Indian Curator of the IRMT Mr. Ramesh Chander underscored the perfect style of the exhibited art and expressed his conviction that it would a source of inspiration for the local artists and craftsmen. The Russian Curator of the IRMT Mrs. Larisa Surgina highly appreciated the exhibition for the profoundly harmonious feeling it created on the viewer by striking a perfect balance between heart (the domain of painting) and mind (the source of sculptural concepts). The artists were also welcomed by the Pradhan of the Naggar Panchayat Mrs. Sushma Sharma.