Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Is art alive in India?

India must have once been a land where art and architecture, science and commerce, spirituality and hospitality, lived in every mind at work. If not, how do you explain the Mysore Palace in all its grandeur and eye for details, built years ago?

The intricate art work, the wooden carvings, stone sculptures, and the paintings tell us so much about the artistic talent prevalent in the olden days. There surely must have been an entire clan well-trained in the art work or may be there were people with in-born talent in art work on various media - Wood, Stone, Canvas, Wall, Metal and Fabric.

Makes me wonder - With almost no automation back then, how did people manage to build master pieces without a single blatant flaw? How did people manage to paint segments of a picture in multiple card board/canvas/wood sheets and fit these pieces into a complete beautiful picture on the ceiling of the palace? How do paintings as old as few hundred years stay fresh and alive till date? Has anyone in India patented the ivory art on wooden pieces?

Makes me wonder - How come today's wooden sofa sets with some much less intricate designs are not as perfect?

Just think : If we were to construct such a palace today ( assuming the money is just flowing in whenever you need) do you think we'll get such a perfection, even with the machines and design plan or whatever else you can possibly have? I think 'No' because in olden days people took pride in their work, were sincere than we can all imagine, cared for perfection, and were very honest.

It may not be practical to expect the same level of perfection and passion for art and architecture these days ( where is the drive for it?), but then it is sad that art and architecture talent is almost dying in India.... occasional art exhibitions and small scale art businesses in village are oases in today's city desert. There are some good talents in India, but they rarely get the attention and hence the encouragement to pursue it further.

Most of us Indians, are ready to pay sky-high price for a dress ( would take fifteen minutes in all to cut, stitch and pack) at Lifestyle, but never willing to buy an art piece without bargaining on the well-deserved price.

Why?

Have we lost taste and interest for art? Or are we too bothered about the worth of the purchase? Is art still alive in India as much as it was in olden days? Can't say...

Is art and architecture supposed to be captured only in cameras and history text books? Is there any way we can get back to the artistic mode again? Will that help bring in some long lost niceties in us and some forgotten culture back to India..? Don't know... but worth a thought I would say...

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