Muscat: “We are looking to bring Indian Contemporary Art to Oman,” said Sanjoli Singh, who represents the Nitanjali Art Gallery of India in Oman, which is organising an exhibition of Contemporary Indian art at the Omani Society of Fine Arts.
“We want to bring good Indian Contemporary Art to Oman and we also want to take good Omani artists to India,” Singh told the Times of Oman (TOO).
An exhibition named, “Beyond the Realm of Beauty” was organised under the patronage of the Indian Embassy in Oman in collaboration with the Omani Society of Fine Arts. The exhibition features the contemporary paintings of prominent Indian artists for the first time in Oman.
Indian ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, along with Sheikh Hamad bin Hilal Al Ma’amari, undersecretary at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture for Cultural Affairs, officially opened the exhibition on Sunday.
According to the Indian Ambassador, the exhibition aims to create awareness about contemporary Indian paintings among the people of Oman.
“We are looking to make the people of Oman familiar with some aspects of Indian culture through contemporary Indian art,” Pandey told TOO.
“Cultural ties between the two countries form an integral part of the historic relationship between India and Oman,” he added.
According to Ridhi Bhalla, representative of the Nitanjali Art Gallery from India, they are trying to get a good representation of Indian contemporary art.
“Our whole idea is to represent Indian art in its totality because it’s so versatile with its genres and techniques,” she told TOO.
Speaking about plans to take Omani artists to India, Singh said, “Through the Omani Society we are looking to take some of the female artists to India to exhibit their works in India and to hold talks, which are going on and we hope it will happen at the end of the year.”
“We also want to continue this kind of exhibition every year with different artists and we are getting excellent support from the Embassy of India, so we hope it will go on,” she added.
The ambassadors of other friendly countries in the Sultanate also attended the opening of the exhibition.
Paintings of 18 artists have been featured in the show, including Ram Kumar, F.N Souza, Satish Gujral, Amiya Bhattarcharya, Ch Gandhi, Laxman Aeley, Ramesh Gorjala, Rohit Sharma, Seema Kohli, Shyamal Mukherjee, T. Vaikuntham and Vinay Sharma.
According to the exhibitors, many of the works are inspired by the Indian subcontinent and explore unconventional painting techniques, such as mixed media and acrylic on canvas, as well as multi- patterned paintings.
Speaking about some of the paintings exhibited Bhalla said, “Laxman Aeley’s series of untitled paintings feature figures in black and white and the series has become more intense, has been forced to stand alone, and is no longer partially obstructed by colour.
“The painter’s muse has been the life of poverty-stricken men and women from villages against the backdrop of their homes,” she added.
According to her, one of the highlights of the exhibition is the work if T. Vaikuntam.
“Through his unique style, which ranges from vibrant washes to stark pen on paper; he examines the lifestyle of village women from the Telangana region with their omnipresent bindis and draped in colourful sarees that highlight their dusky skin,” Bhalla said.
“Stylizations of his paintings are a perfect tribute to Indian classical dance and reminiscent of temple frescoes,” she added.
According to the exhibitors, another attraction of the exhibition is the work of Ramesh Gorjala.
He portrays traditional Indian heritage and culture, through sensitive and detailed mythological portrayals of various Indian gods and goddesses.
“Gorjala works with a delicate and intricate technique, using a palette dominated by gold, red and green creating a rich and natural feel in each of his paintings,” Bhalla said.
“Moods that he is able to create and convey add an antiquated, yet contemporary dynamic to his work,” she explained.