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Art of Aesthetics

Unlike on the canvas,nothing in life is black and white,it’s the grey areas that need to be noticed.

Written by Parul |
February 4, 2009 1:11:19 am

‘Experience art in day-to-day life & replenish it in homes & schools,’ Jatin Das on the need to renew our tryst with tradition & heritage

Unlike on the canvas,nothing in life is black and white,it’s the grey areas that need to be noticed. So,at a lecture on art and architecture by artist Jatin Das,to celebrate the birth centenary of Dr MS Randhawa,the recollection of a perfect past,the concerns of an uncertain present and hope for a vivid future had the large audience absorbed. “When we celebrate a man like MS Randhawa,we do the right thing,for he was a man who had the vision and courage to defy rules and rise above them,build a rapport and make a difference to the lives of thousands of people,” art historian BN Goswamy recalled some warm memories of working with his “uncommon” and “extraordinary” administrator,art lover,scholar,scientist,organiser,social worker,farmer…

Then to now,a lack of vision for art and culture,even after 60 years of Independence,was artist Jatin Das’ concern for the evening. “Let’s not talk about my art,but my anguish,on how decadent we are becoming,while artists are manufacturing and selling what they produce at night,people are buying only names,be it clothing,perfume or painting,” Das rued how more and more artists,even art students are painting only for selling or holding an exhibition. A disconnect with our heritage and tradition,a blind love for everything Western and contemporary,a superficial and phony attitude,a disinterest and non-involvement in the preservation and growth of our rich traditional arts,architecture,costumes and most importantly the lack of aesthetics and art in our day-to-day life,Das touched upon various aspects,urging for change. “Why don’t we have museums,art galleries,archives,cafes in our universities and colleges,we don’t have to go for any paradigm,for we have everything here. The need is to replenish the energy and sense of aesthetics in our homes and schools. You don’t need to go into the nitty-gritty to appreciate art,the eyes are enough to experience and enjoy the beauty and colours,” Das works in oil,watercolour,ink,graphics,and has a large personal collection of traditional arts and crafts,collected over the last 35 years,especially the Pankha collection. “Each one us should start a private collection of our traditional artefacts and it’s a beginning which can preserve such a treasure,” Das is these days working on the creation of the JD Centre of Art,Bhubaneswar,Orissa,designed by BV Doshi,a private non-commercial institution that will celebrate a range of traditional and contemporary visual and plastic arts. “Frankly one lifetime is not enough to be an artist,you need more,’’ invite tradition and make it contemporary,the artist has the last word.

An endeavour of the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi,an exhibition of Dr MS Randhawa Memorabilia is also on at the Government Museum Art Gallery.

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