Indian participation at the international level is proof that the country's art is at par with the western world, says artist M.K. Puri, who is representing India at the "China Hangzhou G20 International Art Exchange Exhibition".
"India is an open country, with both traditional and Modern culture in combination. That is why Ganesha or Buddha images keep appearing on canvases or in sculptures," Puri told IANS in an email interview.
"The influence of the west in India started with British coming to India but the strong tradition remained a strong factor of resistance," he said, adding: "With more and more artists visiting and learning art in the west gave the colour of modern and today Indian art stands with the best in west as you can see from our participation internationally."
The theme for the international art exhibition that is on till October 16 is "Peace, freedom and environmental protection". Two paintings by Puri are being exhibited and the theme that he is portraying is Yoga and Meditation which is a major part of Indian culture and heritage. The work is semi-realistic and attributes the Indian flavour.
"G20 is an International political forum and all member countries have been invited to participate in it. It will be exciting to be a part of it and meeting the artists across the world. I will be proud to represent my country through my paintings," Puri said.
Commenting on the opportunities that China offers its artists, he said: "The Chinese government has been promoting traditional Chinese paintings with brush and ink projecting Tao belief about world and nature - the typical mountain landscapes, birds, bamboo etc."
"For the past ten years or so modern sensibility too is being practiced due to the fact that number of artists are visiting west and otherwise due to exposure through internet etc."
"The new work is mainly about portraying communist ideology. Number of artists living in the west particularly in USA are close to the contemporary western work. I saw a huge exhibition of Chinese art in Chicago by Chinese artists which was purely western proverb and western in technique," he explained.
The artist also spoke about India as a platform for its emerging artists and emphasized on the role played by private organisations.
"The emerging artists through their personal efforts and through available private and to some degree the state support are doing well," he said, adding: "Private galleries and organizations are playing important part as these are run by either artists or deeply connected with art.
"The institutes headed by bureaucrats are more like "sarkari" offices and have negligible sensibility about art and the artists."
Describing his journey with art, he said: Music and human relationship have been my close subjects, some times with spiritual colour and
His works are in permanent collections of several museums and private collection, including National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.
His visit is a private one and has not been sponsored or supported by the government as ICCR did not approve the travel grant for reasons best known to it.
He commented on the lack of participation from the government, saying: "Although I shall be the representative artist of my country in this politically important world event. China is providing all the hospitality during my stay."
(Mudita Girotra can be contacted at email@example.com)
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