Art and artists descended en bloc for the first time in the Punjab Engineering College (PEC) campus at Chandigarh for a week-long workshop of painting and sculpture titled ‘Symphony’ in an effort to bring art and technology closer.
An effort has been made in recent times, home and abroad, to integrate art and technology in engineering institutions and ‘Symphony’ was the maiden effort by PEC to create space for art on its sprawling campus and provide an opportunity to enjoy aesthetics.
Some 30 painters and sculptors took part in the workshop which to senior painter Prem Singh was a very satisfying experience. Spreading the canvas with sunny yellow hues, he said: “There is a great need for inter-disciplinary interaction for students and this camp provided a fine opportunity for it. It is an integrated approach to education that opens many windows in the minds of the students and a greater realisation of talent.”
The camp was organised in collaboration with the Government College of Art and the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi. The Akademi also organised talks and slide shows by artists, art historians in the evenings with active participation of the faculty members.
Manish Jindal, registrar, PEC, said, “The camp was organised to enhance both the inside and outside with the goal to bridge the gap between the machine and the art.”
For an art critic asking the way to the venue, a guard said to walk straight and the conference hall was next to a helicopter that is on permanent display. But soon the landmark will be beautiful black marble sculptures decorating the lawn across and exceptional among them is the ‘Sitting Buddha’ sculpted by the senior artist Biman Behari Das. Other interesting sculptures include a couple in embrace titled ‘Mithuna’ by Sanjeev Kumar, a faculty member from the local College of Art.
In a slide show showing the proximity of art and technology, professor of civil engineering Siby John said there can be no divide between art and technology and he quoted Harvard professor Daniel Bell who held that ‘Technology, like art, is a soaring exercise of the human imagination’.