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Jammu-based sculptor Rajendar Tiku

Jammu-based sculptor Rajendar Tiku

Some choose their path and for the rest, it is the path that chooses them. For renowned stone sculptor Rajendar Tiku, who was awarded the Padma Shri for his contributions in the field of art, stone sculpting is a choice he made when he could easily “let life take another course.”Chuffed with his achievement of receiving grants from reputed foundations, like Gottlieb Foundation in 2015 and Pollock-Krasner Foundation in 2008, this 60-year-old says, “I am perhaps the youngest Indian sculptor to have been bestowed with these two prestigious awards and to be honoured at this level.”

From science to art

At the cost of sounding a ‘bit bizarre’, the sculptor says, in contrast to those who fall back on art, owing to the lack of other options. He “chose to be a stone sculptor”, in his quest to “do something different and creative” despite earning degrees in science and law. After completing his degree in Fine Arts from Institute of Music and Fine Arts run by Jammu and Kashmir Academy, Tiku went on to serve as a faculty member in the Department of Fine Arts, University of Jammu, with specialisation in Stone Sculptures.

Tough medium

The artist intends to raise no brows, but invariably does so, when he states matter-of-factly that, “Stone sculpting involves working on a very tough medium. We artists are sincerely and profoundly working to keep a traditional art alive.” He takes a brief moment of pause and continues, “I love what I do. It is laborious, but so is working in any other domain.”

Decipherable art

Tiku believes there is a thin line that separates the material environment from the aspirational one. “Art helps people break from the physical realm by migrating them to the aspirational—the world of desires.”For him, the true success of a piece of art lies in it being “easily decipherable.” He pauses for a brief moment and continues, “We as artists, drop subtle clues for the onlooker to pick from our creations. The admirers discern the hints, and interact with the work on a different level.”

Out in the open

In a bid to boost the number of art admirers, Tiku, with other well-known stone sculptors like Robin David is associated with setting up ‘a sculpture garden in the vicinity of Mumbai’ since its inception. “The park invites sculptors from various parts of the world to share their monumental stone works with public.”Tracing the genesis of the park, Tiku said, “A corporate house acquired a mountain which is being modeled into a sculpture park” to bring people face to face with the art of stone sculpting.

Video published on Apr 5, 2015: Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi organised an audio visual presentation “Tradition, Continuity and Contemporaniety” by renowned sculptor Rajendar Tiku – on 18 November 2014 at the Auditorium of Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh.

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