For a country whose memories of beautiful Jammu and Kashmir have been scarred by the decade- long bloodshed and gore, a crafts map of the state with paintings by Hakim Gulam Mohammad comes a welcome relief.
This, and similar maps of other states rich in tradition have been enticing visitors to thr Academy of Fine Arts and Literature, where they have been exhibited along with original Art work.
The Maps Contain paintings or drawings of the region concerned and also provide information about the place, its textiles and craft. That way, they serve to introduce a State in an Aesthetic manner. A huge change from the boring information booklets available at most tourist offices. The show is organised by the Delhi-based Dastkari Haat Samiti. It concludes April 6.
The first of these maps was released in 1994 during the inaugration of the Delhi Haat. Over the years, maps of other states and regions took shape. However the thought of exhibiting them along with the artwork came after the map of India, painted by artist Aparna Caur was inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Mr. A. B. Vajapayee, last month, the President of Haat, Ms. Jaya Jaitly, told UNI.
This Show covers the states of Jammu and Kashmir, tamil Nadu, Bihar, Gujrat, undivided Madhya prades, Orissa, Rajasthan and the Seven sisters of North-East. A map od Delhi and India also form part of this.
Most of them have been done by traditional artists. The Map of MP was painted by tribal artists Jangadh Singh Shyam, who commited sucide in Japan last year.
On the anvil are maps of the newly defined Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, West Bengal, Jahrkhand, Goa and Sikkim. “We earlier made only one map a year. It was increased to two. With improved technology, we can now produce three maps a year. Maybe, one each from different regions,” Ms Jaya said. The Exact specifics of the map was certified Geological Survey of India and then given to the artist. They painted around it.
The government has also been given two lots of the maps. So have embassies abroad. But, sadly there has been no response, She said. “I felt an exhibition would create awareness that unique maps like these existed,” she added.
Ms. Aparna has done two paintings for the maps. One of Kabir (he signifies peace in these times of strife, she says) and the other portraying a lady with a pot in her hand. The water flows from the tip of Jammu and Kashmir to fall into the Indian Ocean at the Southern Tip.
Mr. Ramachandran of Tamil Nadu derives inspiration from the famed Thanjavur style of painting and uses kumkum (vermillion) colours of its textiles. The map of the northeast by Mr. Sitt Nyein Aye of Burma has each state depicted through the typical handloom or bamboo woven Pattern.
Ms. Jaya says people have responded well to the exhibition here and have been captivated by its novelty. Prints of the maps, priced at Rs. 125, are available for sale at the venue.
(Image Courtsey: www.mapsofindia.com)