Artist Attempts To Revive Iran-Kashmir Relations
12 November 2007
Srinagar: A young Iranian artist recreated old Sufi images and hung them on a Chinar tree to revive age old relationship his country once enjoyed with the people of Kashmir. A Nepali artist showcased a half buried Shikara (famous Kashmiri river boat) inside the earth and rest coaxed with barbed wire to prevent it from flying in order to depict the misery wrought by an unending conflict to this beautiful land. And an Indian artist filled a dark room with the pictures of missing Kashmiris to highlight the plight of families of disappeared here. Artists from UK, Germany, Greece, Iran, Mozambique, Nepal and different states of India displayed their creative works in different art forms at the 15-day International Contemporary Art Workshop which aimed to 'break the monotony of the traditional painting canvas'. The workshop concluded here Monday. Some of the art works were about the concept of illusion and reality and artists used real and virtual spaces to create such installations. Puja Sood, director of Khoj Kasheer, the NGO which organized the workshop explained that the exhibition was aimed at taking forward the concept of contemporary art in Kashmir. The workshop coordinator and renowned artist Masood Hussain while talking to IRNA said, unlike traditional art workshops, wherein artists work is restricted on canvas and use of conventional material for making sculptures, the participants in this workshop experimented on different art forms. 'Through the medium of art, these artists epitomized multi layers of Kashmir crisis' Sood added. 'Art emanates from deep concern for translating truth through creative act. It is also to convey that Kashmir crisis can be presented through other medium as well,' she said. 'Artists participating in the workshop bought the materials available in Srinagar and later worked on it,' added Hussain. Explaining his work of art, 'Seven Boughs of Chinars', Iranian artist Tooraj Khamenehzadeh said, 'During my stay in Kashmir, I could easily observe the deep cultural relations between Iran and Kashmir. It was my quest to display this relationship of mysticism through my work of art.' Tooraj, hailing from Qazvin and now living in Tehran made an installation in which he tried to depict the Iranian relationship with Kashmir. He had superimposed portraits of seven Iranian Sufi saints on seven famous shrines of Iranian Sufis in Kashmir valley. His works hanging on seven boughs of Chinar actually show 700 years of Sufism as well, Tooraj told IRNA. Gargi Raina an artist from Gujarat state displayed the pictures of disappeared persons inside a dark room, the entrance of which was covered by a colourful drape, depicting the Kashmir, 'beautiful from outside and troubled inside'. Sonal Jain of Assam who had collected scraps from the abandoned houses of Srinagar city said the collected items narrate their own stories. 'Titled Box full of Memories, these stories need to be told through the objects which were left behind by the people.' The other eye catching work on display was the image of Kashmir merging with praying hands by a noted artist from New Delhi.