Dr. Mahesh Shrama Inaugurates  exhibition titled "Arth - art for earth" at IGNCA



New Delhi. Union Minister of State for Culture(I/c), Dr. Mahesh Shrama, inaugurated exhibition titled "Arth - art for earth" at IGNCA, New Delhi today. ‘ARTH - ART FOR EARTH’ by Manav Gupta consists of "Excavations in Hymns of Clay"-a suite of environmental art installations by Manav Gupta weaving all of them with a storyline and poetry. It is an evolving site, specific and dynamic engagement with the space it has an interface with - whether it be the Travelling or the Permanent editions.


Speaking at the event, the Minister said that Culture is our Strength and Identity, and the artists are the people adding strength to this identity. Appreciating the Exhibit he also complimented IGNCA for the efforts. Dr Sachcidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA, Shri Ram Bahadur Rai, President, IGNCA, Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO Niti Ayog and many other dignitaries were present at the event.

As a public art project, the artist deploys the quintessentially Indian potter’s produce of clay objects such as the earthen lamps (“diyas”), local cigar (“chilam”), earthen cups (“kullar”)  to transform their individual identity into metaphors and idioms of  sustainability, context, perception and treatment as he conceptualizes and creates large scale avant-garde works; using the rural Indian pottery meant for everyday use, in mass numbers, he  deconstructs their age old existence as units to make them lend themselves to another form, be it in a Duchamp like inverted concept or simply rendering them formless. 


They stun the viewer with the artist's originality of thought as he produces a cutting edge contemporary language whose  global vocabulary is  derived from the “local”. In his “excavations” of the spiritual philosophy of sustainable living as espoused in Indian scriptures, he executes an organic engagement of art with architecture and space to  explore it in its universal context.

While one is lured intelligently within the sensuousness of the ‘Waterfront’, ‘River of clay’, or ‘Rain’ letting one feel the ethereal, emotive content like that of an epic story, Manav’s statement is dipped gently into the essence of the Indian vedic practices to subtly bring to light the repository of solutions that the ancient way of life could offer in today’s context of sustainable development and  current issues around rivers like the Ganga.


Whether it be the latest "R a i n " or the "River waterfront" ‘Time Machine’, ‘Bee-hive Garden ’, ‘River Bed of Love’, or the ‘Noah’s Ark’ the fragility of clay juxtaposed with the limitedness of the “cup of life” question the paradigm of Time and human engagement with it in today's rapidly mechanized and constructed consumerist engagement with earth’s resources.

The works, conceptualized ,created and constructed taking into consideration the venue – is a sensitive natural interface with the ambience, seeking  to engage  fresh and locally relevant dialogues and questions that audiences can have with the art and within themselves.   


The exhibition is available for public viewing till the 22nd of October 2018.