Mahaveer Swami is one of the finest traditional artists working in India today.
His exquisite brushwork and the use of ethereal colours with the combination of his inner vision and great sensitivity of the world around him, makes his artworks unique and been admired by art lovers around the world.
Mahaveer Swami has proven that there is no real gap between the contemporary and the traditional but only art. His works demonstrates beyond a doubt that a rich and beautiful tradition is still very much alive. Recently he held a solo exhibition at Cans Tea & Book House in Taipei as part of “ONE ASIA 2014 in Taipei” and also participated to a group exhibition “Form of Devotion”at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
Recently, he has been broaden the horizon of his artworks. These artworks are inspired by some of old landscape paintings and sacred paintings from East Asia. He effortlessly explores the new world through his careful gaze and gentle brush stroke. Many art lovers and collectors were impressed by his skills. Today we got an opportunity to interview him about his ever-evolving arts.
Q : Hello, who taught you the painting technique and knowledge of art in general ?
A : Namaste, I have no particular person and source of learning. It is a gradual inspiration started from my grandfather who was a halva or Mistry (head mason), he painted and supervised paintings on the murals of the Havelis (mansions) in the desert state, and then my father was a painter who worked in the railway workshop. Later post schooling my fascination for art took me to Jaipur, where I was trained formally at the Rajasthan School of Art. Also did a diploma in sculpture, learnt clay modelling, painting and calligraphy there. To fend for myself in Jaipur, I had to trek for miles daily and work hard on commissions making copies of paintings on Pichwai (devotional fabric painting), ivory and miniatures which gave me both the confidence and mastery the techniques.
Q : You are constantly exhibiting your art in abroad. It is quite rare in the field of Indian Miniature Painting art today. What is bringing you to this international recognition?
A : Indian miniature style of paintings is recognized all over the world and as an adherent & developer of such exquisite style of miniature paintings took me to abroad. International approaches brought possibilities to set up several workshops/residency programmes in my studio as well as in foreign countries. These exchanges of sharing knowledge widen my vision to research and explore newer themes and forms.
Q : There are no many young Indian Miniature Painting artists especially your level is almost none. Do you wish to have some students in traditional way of Master and Disciple style? or more in academic schooling style you suggest? (and what is the reason?)
A : In my point of view both Gurushishya Parampara (master & disciple tradition) and contemporary academic style of learning are equally important. Academic style of learning brought several range of techniques to a student, and later with specialised Guru (mentor) guidance, the student could evolve in some specific techniques. Similarly I did diploma in painting & clay modelling andguided by my mentor late Shri Vedpal Sharma“Bannu ji”.
Q : Your studio is 250 years old you said. What is the feeling when you work in such special place?
A : I feel blessed ! For me this place is more like a temple. My day start with ritual of offering prayers at the altar of Yatis (Jain Monks), departed souls, enshrined in a little alcove within the studio. And only then I begin my artwork. The positive energies carried forward in my artworks and through my artworks to my art lovers and collectors.
Q : Indian art market is growing. What is the role of your art in this drastically changing situation since a few decades? And what is your message?
A : Change is a characteristic of this cosmic world and so on it applies on everything. Such changing scenario in art market develops possibilities to represent a continuum within the living arts of today India. My style of art incorporated decorative embellishments that draw on history and mythology, along with the surrounding habitat and abstraction from nature. My art-scape appears in a distinct and unique form and feel, involved in the creator’s own persona and passion.
Q : You have some offers from the Far Eastern Countries for your art exhibition in near future. Do you have any particular message to convey through the future exhibitions?
A : Eastern countries have magnificent tradition and culture. It always fascinates me to create artworks to showcase the richness of the East. My style of art displays unique and deep connections of artist to artist with no place of ego and politics, has only respect for art.
Mahaveer Swami 是目前活躍於印度當地最出色的傳統藝術創作者之一
Mahaveer Swami 證明了藝術在當代或傳統之間並不存在代溝的問題,藝術就是這兩者之間的聯結。前陣子,他在 台北罐子茶書館舉辦了【ONE ASIA 2014 in Taipei】個展。他那精美的用色和細緻的描繪,充分展示其獨一無二的 精神視野,讓傳統藝術之美在當代時空下依然相當活躍,備受注目。
最初受到了祖父的影響,Mahaveer Swami 才會踏上創作的道路。他的祖父負責哈維利(Haveli)建築外牆的繪 圖、上色與監工,而他的父親則是鐵路工廠的漆工畫師。在此繪畫世家的背景下,Mahaveer Swami受到很多的啟 發,逐漸探索繪畫之美。因為著迷於更高層次的藝術,而前往齋浦爾(Jaipur)求學,在拉賈斯坦(Rajasthan)藝術 學校受到結構完整的專業訓練,學習模型黏土、繪畫和字畫等創作方法,並獲得雕塑的畢業文憑。
為了節省在齋浦爾的生活支出,Mahaveer Swami 每天必須徒步好幾公里的路程去工作,製作許多宗教的布畫。 在工作過程中他學習到各種精深的技術,尤其是在象牙表面畫畫與微型繪畫,更是大大增進其對創作技法的熟練與 自信。Mahaveer Swami 認為就藝術創作的訓練來說,傳統師徒之間的經驗傳授與當代學術的教育方式都是一樣重要的。學生 在學校可以學習到完整體系的理論與知識,之後在單一師傅的指導下則能專精於特定創作技巧,並發展一技之長。 Mahaveer Swami 的學習背景就類似這樣的模式,先在藝術學校獲得繪畫及模型黏土的教育訓練,再接受Shri Vedpal Sharma(Bannu ji)的專業教導。Mahaveer Swami 目前使用的工作室已有250年的歷史,每天一開始會先在室內 的壁龕進行祈禱的儀式,之後再開始工作。對他來說,在這空間創作就像是修道士處在聖壇、寺廟內,受到祝福一 般!而這股正面的力量會被帶入到他的創作,再傳遞給喜愛他藝術作品的觀者或藏家們。
面對印度市場正在成長的趨勢,Mahaveer Swami 認為:這樣的改變正是這大千世界的特色。藝術市場日新月異的 變化局面,讓印度目前活躍的藝術有更多發展的可能性與延續性。印度微型繪畫正被全世界所熟識,因此對於追求 這樣精美細緻繪畫的Mahaveer Swami 而言,意味著有更多前往其他國家參展的機會,並能在海外積極發展此種繪畫 風格。他說:「全球化帶來許多可能性,不僅能在我的工作室開辦藝術研討會,也能在其他國家參加駐村計畫等藝 術活動。這種知識的分享與交流開拓了我的視野,讓我能夠尋找和探索更多新穎的主題與架構。」最近,Mahaveer Swami 收到許多遠東國家的展覽邀約,他認為東方國家蘊含著宏偉又豐富的傳統與文化,使他生出為東方多元色彩 創作的濃厚興趣。他的藝術風格融合裝飾特性,主要描繪歷史與神話,寫實或抽象地刻畫出周遭自然環境,構圖清 楚明確,獨特的繪畫氛圍表露出創作者個人的形象和對藝術的熱情。沒有任何自滿的氣息,也從未涉及政治因素, 純粹以尊崇藝術創作為前提,Mahaveer Swami 試著將自己的創作與古今中外的藝術家相互連結,創作出與眾不同的 繪畫作品。