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Jammu artist makes way to China on regular

Though an administrative representation to China from Jammu and Kashmir has to face visa barriers as imposed by China, art, however, found an easy access without much ado.

india Updated: Nov 02, 2010 09:03 IST
Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
Hindustan Times

Though an administrative representation to China from Jammu and Kashmir has to face visa barriers as imposed by China, art, however, found an easy access without much ado.

As China’s Jammu and Kashmir visa policy remains unchanged, indicating that it will continue to issue stapled visas to the residents of the state, Bishamber Mehta, a sculptor from Kathua district of Jammu was welcomed in the country on regular Chinese Visa who besides enjoying the hospitality of the country had represented Jammu and Kashmir in 45-day long Changchun International Sculpture Symposium held at Jilin Province, China.

“ It is really a matter of great astonishment that the country denied a visa to Lt Gen BS Jaswal, though he does not belong to the state and allowed me to move to China on its regular visa,” said the artist adding that since he cannot divulge more the strategic developments at political levels, yet was quite surprised on this.

It is pertinent to mention that India suspended high-level military exchanges with China in July after Beijing denied a regular visa to Lt Gen BS Jaswal because the ‘sensitive’ J&K area is under his purview.

Representing India as lone participant in the China Changchun International Sculpture Symposium, this Jammu artist has parked a crowded Auto Rikshaw-a purely Indian means of public transport in International Automotive Park.

By way of this message giving work (13’-7’ in size), Mehta has cautioned the world about the growing threat of increasing population and its impact around.

“In the beginning it was difficult to understand what I was making out of clay, but when the idea took a shape it became point of attraction for every visitor to the park. My work was highly appreciated by the Mayor of Changchun,” said Bishambar Mehta

About 30 selected sculptors from world over took part in this 45-day long Arts Symposium. “It was a life time experience to share a platform with artists from world over. This useful trip has certainly opened my vision and has given a new dimension to my approach,” said Mehta adding, “Though the artists from developed world were better in technical know how and infrastructure available to them back home, we Indians still have edge with regard to vision and depth in formal art.”

When asked about China’s approach towards preserving cultural heritage, this experienced artist was quick to reply saying, “China is ahead of India as for as preservation of culture and art is concerned. A lot needs to be done in India if we have to catch China in art and culture”.

Instructor Sculpture at Institute of Music and Fine Arts (IMFA) Jammu, Mehta belongs to district Kathua. Hwe did his Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts Sculpture in 1984 from University of Jammu and completed Masters in Fine Arts in Ceramic Sculpture from MS University of Baroda four years later.

Already having participated in 12 different national camps, Mehta has his collections at Raj Bhawan, Sher-e-Kashmir Agriculture University Jammu and Bhartiya Yog Kendra Jammu as also at West Zone Cultural Centre Udaipur in Rajasthan.

Making his debut at the international level through China visit, this Jammu artist has displayed his collections at various art exhibitions at different states of the country during all these years.

First Published: Nov 02, 2010 09:03 IST