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Rare bouquet of tribal paintings on display from Feb 16 in the National Capital


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A stunning range of the age-old Indian tribal art, captured in all its hues by the gifted artists from tribal clans like Gond, Bhils, Rathwa, Saura and Warli, will be on display for nine days from February 16 in the National Capital.

This rare but enthralling exhibition of paintings, as part of the national series called ‘Aadi Chitra’, will reflect the tribals’ faith in gods and goddesses, unbounded love for the nature, fascination for colours, fun-frolic celebrations, spirit of camaraderie, fondness for animals and birds, and purity of heart.

Organised by the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd (TRIFED), an agency of the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the event marks the culmination of seven-city tour of Aadi Chitra, whose objective is to extricate heritage-value paintings from oblivion to the mainstream and revive interest in the tribal artworks among the masses.

Scheduled at Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, Copernicus Marg, the exhibition of works from 40 talented artists will be open for the public every day from 11 am to 7 pm till February 24.

The tribal arts bandwagon has already travelled to the cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, and Hyderabad attracting tremendous response from the art lovers and the general public.

The themes of paintings range from religious to secular, gods and goddesses to animals and birds, lifecycles from birth to death, marriage, farming, harvest, celebration, and the five basic elements of Mother Earth.

The artists belong to the tribes of Gond, Bhil (both central India), Rathwa (Gujarat), Saura (Orissa) and Warli (Maharashtra). Among the well-known artistes are Nankushia Shyam and Japani (wife and daughter, respectively, of the legendary Gond painter Jangarh Singh Shyam), Paresh Rathwa (Pithora style), Rameshwar Munda (Saura) and Jivya Soma Mashe (Warli).

“They vent their creative expressions sometimes by sketching it on the rock or on the cow dung smeared on the walls or with rice flour. But many such artists never get the attention of the world outside and their art dies with them. Our focus is to bring some of these gifted men to the mainstream. It is an attempt to restore, preserve and reinforce the tribal art,” said TRIFED Managing Director Shri Jiji Thomson.

Aadi Chitra is one of the initiatives by TRIFED to support the tribal artists by finding a market for their works. The agency, which is celebrating its silver jubilee year, has already established a chain of 34 unique showrooms, called “TRIBES INDIA”, across the country.


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