Kalpa Vriksha

Contemporary Indigenous and Vernacular Art of India

Several hundred indigenous and rural-based communities exist in India, varying greatly in ethnicity, culture and language. Developed in collaboration with Delhi-based curator, Minhazz Majumdar, this focus project explores some of the diverse artistic traditions that have survived and evolved from these regions. Kalpa Vriksha is a Sanskrit term for a divine or wishfulfilling tree. Mentioned in scriptures, it is also used to describe living, sacred trees, traversing boundaries between the everyday and the mythical, ancient and contemporary. Communities such as the Warli, GondPatachitra scroll painters and Mithila artists are known for vibrant visual techniques with ancient histories, while Kalighat painting and clay sculpture from the Rajwar community have developed as part of daily vernacular life and belief. Phad painting and Kaavad shrines are part of story-telling traditions drawing on song and performance.This project considers some of the most exciting and experimental artists working with the knowledge of these traditions today, capturing how traditional iconography and techniques have developed and how artists are using new styles to explore contemporary issues.

Developed for APT8 with assistance from Minhazz Majumdar

Video
Watch our interview with Venkat Raman Singh Shyam | Auslan Interpreted and Closed Captions

Artists
ABDUL CHITRAKAR / JABA CHITRAKAR / MADHU CHITRAKAR / MANTU CHITRAKAR / MONIMALA CHITRAKAR / SONIA CHITRAKAR / BALU LADKYA DUMADA / KALYAN JOSHI / PRADYUMNA KUMAR / PUSHPA KUMARI / ATMA DAS MANIKPURI / KALAM PATUA / BHAGAT RAM RAJAWAR / DAROGA RAM / ROOKMANI BAI / PARBATIBAI SARTHI / VENKAT RAMAN SINGH SHYAM / SATYANARAYAN SUTHAR / RAJESH CHAITYA VANGAD

Communities
GOND / KAAVAD / KALIGHAT / MITHILA / PATACHITRA / PHAD / RAJWAR / WARLI

QAG WATERMALL LEVEL

Gallery 4

Kalpa Virksha

Venkat Raman Singh Shyam presents a drawing activity for children based on the distinctive patterns used in Gond art and a story entitled The Woman and the Parrot in Kids APT8.

Kalpa Vriksha

Installation view of 'Kalpa Vriksha: Contemporary Indigenous and Vernacular Art of India' in APT8.

Venkat Raman Singh Shyam discusses his work in APT8

Venkat Raman Singh Shyam discusses his work in APT8.

Venkat Raman Singh Shyam discusses his work

Venkat Raman Singh Shyam discusses his work displayed as part of the special APT8 project 'Kalpa Vriksha: Contemporary Indigenous and Vernacular Art of India'.

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