Buddhist art – enlightening the mind

by Ekatmata Sharma
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‘Benevolent Gaze: Buddhist Imprints in Art’, an exhibit of 50 artworks comprising of paintings, photography, ceramics, sculptures and installations showcase artworks based on Buddhism at Ojas Art.
As Buddhism strides across India and the world, both the message and the practice of Buddhism are entering the consciousness of people. Anubhav Nath, Curatorial Director of OJAS Art celebrates Buddhism’s organic and ever-changing nature of life through an exhibition ‘Benevolent Gaze: Buddhist Imprints in Art, an exhibit of 50 artworks comprising of paintings, photography, ceramics, sculptures and installations.  The group show features works by renowned artists like KS Radhakrishnan, sculptor; Satish Gupta, painter, sculptor, muralist and poet; Abhishek Singh, painter; Aditya Arya, photographer; Mahaveer Swami, miniaturist; Bhajju Shyam, Gond artist amongst others. The concept takes inspiration from both the message and the practice of Buddhism entering the consciousness of people. The “four noble truths” of Buddhism – existence is suffering, there is a cause to the suffering, the eightfold path, much needed to end the suffering — encapsulate this nature rather subtly.  “The concept behind ‘Benevolent Gaze: Buddhist Imprints in Art’ is to showcase artworks based on Buddhism by contemporary artists today and to observe their interpretation and understanding of Buddhism,” says Anubhav Nath, who brought together varied art forms under one roof. He adds, “There were a lot of choices as many artists have been exploring the subject. We wanted to make sure that we give a holistic representation including works from various genres and mediums. The artworks span genres and mediums. We are showcasing paintings, sculptures, photography, drawings and installations. Mediums are not restricted to but include acrylic and oil on canvas, bronze, ceramic, artworks on paper.”
The artists explore different aspect of Buddhism. As Deepak Agastya’s minimal art highlights the minimalism of Buddhism; Satish Gupta and Mahaveer Swami have explored the concept of the Lotus flower, which is integral to buddhist philosophy and thought. Bhajju Shyam’s artworks talk about the importance of mother nature in Buddhism. “All the artists in focus – Abhishek Singh, Aditya Arya, Adil Writer, Bhajju Shyam, Chemat Dorje,  Deepak Agasthya, Isaac gergan &Stanzin Nyentak, Jamyang Dorje Chakrishar,  KS Radhakrishnan, Mayank Shyam, Pratap SJB Rana, Mahaveer Swami, Santosh Kumar Das, Satish Gupta, Srinivas Pullagam, and Vineet Kacker in their own way depict our journey and our travel in a constant consistence, making our way to Nirvana through their art and this is what this exhibition is about, the essence of Buddhism,” says Nath who also curated the Buddhism exhibition at the recent Bodhi Parv 2017. The display of artwork is essential to the set up of exhibitions and how the public experiences the work. The display of exhibition at Bodhi parv2017 was exemplary. “The display at the Bodhi Parva was made interesting by scenographer Oroon Das. The backdrop of the exhibition was  Dr. Vikram Lall’s research on Buddhist Architecture across BIMSTEC countries. Both of these elements together provided for a unique backdrop for artworks by contemporary artists.”
‘Benevolent Gaze: Buddhist Imprints in Art’ exhibition continues till 14th January 2018 at Ojas Art Gallery, 1AQ, Qutab MInar, New Delhi.

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