River Ganga gets an artistic tribute at this exhibition in National Museum, Delhi | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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River Ganga gets an artistic tribute at this exhibition in National Museum, Delhi

An ongoing exhibition at the National Museum, Delhi, traces the journey of the Ganga river and highlights the need to safeguard it.

art and culture Updated: Jun 02, 2017 17:51 IST
Ruchika Garg
This artwork shows a scene from the Mahabharata, where Bhishma, son of Ganga, is lying on a bed of arrows.
This artwork shows a scene from the Mahabharata, where Bhishma, son of Ganga, is lying on a bed of arrows.

The travelogue by Eric Newby titled Slowly Down the Ganges, which narrates the story of the 1200 mile journey down the Ganges, has inspired a Boston-based artist and curator, Shakeel Hossain. He has created and collated artworks to narrate the mythological story of one India’s most sacred river.

“Ganga is an icon river that provides an all-encompassing canvas of India. It represents the art, history and culture of the country, and the exhibition showcases the same. I conceived this exhibition about 30 years ago but at that point it didn’t materialise. Now, the subject finds itself in quite a few discourses. This exhibition also tries to include some of the present situations that complete the narrative,” says Hossain.

To tell the story of the river, since its inception, new artworks apart from the already existing ones have been commissioned. “It presents a cross section of Indian ethos, as expressed through art and history. Covering all the mythological aspects, Ganga’s relation with Shiva, Krishna and Brahma is also depicted. Ganga is a goddess and a river too, and one needs to respect both these aspects. Some installations show Ganga amidst trash with the urgent need of protection,” says Farah Yameen, project coordinator.

This painting shows Ganga hiding in the feet of Lord Krishna, to escape the wrath of Radha.

Hossain had proposed the idea of this exhibition about years back but due to lack of funds, he couldn’t work on the project. “There was a promise of funding from the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) but it never came. Except the standard National Museum budget, we managed it without any support. The project was envisioned on a much grand scale but was curtailed,” he adds.

CATCH IT LIVE
  • What: Ganga- River of Life and Eternity
  • Where: National Museum, New Delhi
  • On till: June 20
  • Timings: 10am to 6pm (Closed on Monday and public holidays)
  • Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat on the Yellow Line

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