The City Beautiful, in particular the Rock Garden, is being featured in the 15th International architecture exhibition — ‘Venice Biennale exhibition’ — on May 25 in Italy.
The exhibition hosting 37 countries will have on display a replica of the Rock Garden, besides 3D slides of the art concepts, including incomplete works, of its creator, late Nek Chand. A film on Nek Chand’s life will also be screened at the event, which will introduce Chandigarh to visitors through works of the city’s designer, Le Corbusier. The film will be dubbed in Italian.
Nek Chand’s son, Anuj Saini, who is also the curator of the Rock Garden, said he received a mail from Alejandro Aravena, director of the Venice exhibition, who said Chandigarh was “a kind of pilgrimage” for architects. Alejandro said he had visited Chandigarh and had found the experience “remarkable”.
“My duty as the curator of Biennale is to look for practices/ projects that are exemplary cases that have improved the quality of the built environment, and I can’t think of a better example than the Rock Garden. I was wondering if you as an organisation would be interested in sharing with the broader audience the treasure that you have there,” the mail reads.
Saini said he will be flying to Italy to represent the garden. He said preparations for the exhibition had begun. “Some artist from Mumbai has also been invited, but late Nek Chand’s work will be a special attraction from India,” he said.
The exhibition will have a large layout map of Chandigarh depicting the city’s division into 30 sectors by Le Corbusier, and important places for visitors. A projector will run slides on Corbusier’s landscaping and other works.
The Rock Garden will be portrayed through a wall made of waste plastic drums painted or plastered with cement/colour, which will appear similar to the one surrounding the Rock Garden — the entrance to the display site will be a cave (also made of drums), which will make visitors feel as if they were entering the Garden in Chandigarh.
The Rock Garden model will also have a water fall (of recycled water), like the one at the original site. There will also be sculptures made with bangles, glass marbles, industrial waste, foundry waste and broken ceramics, besides a wall of wooden planks/boards with waste ceramic tiles pasted on them.
A spectator’s gallery shall be created with wooden planks and natural slates (from North Indian hills).
On the back ground of the entire model will be displayed pictures of the Rock Garden’s Swings Area.