K. Bikram Singh (1938-2013)
Silent Disappearance of a Benevolent Man of Culture
(K.Bikram Singh, Image courtesy Bollywoodlife.com)
K.Bikram Singh, a man who had devoted his life to document art and culture through moving images and words, is no more. When he passed away on 12th May 2013 in Delhi after prolonged liver ailment, he was 75 years old. Born in 1938, Bikram Singh started off his professional career as a lecturer in History. Then he became a civil servant with the Government of India. He was the joint director of Directorate of Film Festivals of India and also served as the Director of Film Policy in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India. To completely devote his life to document art and culture, in 1983, at the age of forty five Bikram Singh took voluntary retirement from government service and became a full time film maker and writer. His seminal works include an internationally acclaimed documentary on Satyajit Ray (started in 1983 and completed in 1990), thirteen episodes on the lives and times of Modern and Contemporary artists in India, commissioned by Doordarshan, India’s state owned prime television channel and an unreleased book on M.F.Husain besides several other books. Bikram Singh has also produced critically acclaimed movies like Aandhi Gali (dir.Buddhadev Dasgupta) and New Delhi Times (dir.Ramesh Sharma). He also directed the award winning movie Tarpan in 1995.
Facebook should have been flooded with RIP messages for Bikram Singh. But as he preferred to live a contented silent life, Singh was not so fond of online activities. As a member of the India International Centre in New Delhi, he spent his evenings there in the club, library and restaurant with his friends. He attended the openings of good art shows and whenever he visited a show he made it a point that his presence was inconspicuous. Though he belonged to a generation of Renaissance people he never frowned at the experimental works and attitude of the young generation of artists. He silently went through the works and spared a few words of appreciation for the artists, curators and gallerists.
An obituary note is also a personal expression of grief. A few days back when art critic Vinod Bharadwaj posted a DVD cover of Bikram Singh’s movies, I did not have any reason to think that it was a form of tribute to the departed veteran. There was no mentioning of RIP in that. May be as friends many still do not want to believe that Bikram Singh is no more. That’s why when on 16th May friends gathered at the IIC Bar to remember their beloved Bikram, they poured a glass of whiskey and kept on the table where Bikram used to sit. They knew that he would not fail to show up. K.S.Radhakrishnan, noted artist remembers, “If you remove something significant from a usual haunt you will feel a sense of vacuum. Bikram has been a significant presence in the cultural scene of Delhi and also for friends at IIC he was like a pillar there, not easily movable. You feel the vacuum today because a significant presence has been removed from our midst. Bikram was a great soul.”
I came in touch with Bikram in late 2011 when I took charge as the editor of Art and Deal magazine. I requested him to contribute to the magazine and he did contribute. I requested him to lend me a few DVDs of his works and he gracefully did so. I showed these documentaries to the students of the National Institute of Design and CEPT University, Ahmedabad, where I teach Art History. Whenever I invited him to come for my openings he came, spoke to me and congratulated me. He took time to call me once in a while to ask about my works. He had invited me a few times to go to his place and share a couple of drinks with him, which I could not and consider as a missed opportunity.
Bikram has gone to the other world with a sense of fulfilment. He would have been happier had his volume on his friend, M.F.Husain been released when he was alive. Bikram spent many years researching this book and finally was published by a publishing house in Delhi. But the release was delayed due to some differences developed between the author and the publisher. A beautifully produced volume, which I had the opportunity to read cover to cover, is one of the best books ever written on M.F.Husain. Bikram will be rewarded for this book one day. May be Delhi galleries together could do something towards the release of the book as a gesture of graceful adieu to Bikram Singh.
International Week of Arts Education - Workshops and more by KNMA
The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), New Delhi, in collaboration with NCERT and Sahitya Kala Parishad, presents the ‘International Week of Arts Education’ - A five day event of workshops and cultural programs. The event starts on the 23rd of May to 27th of May 2013.
This event is open to all age groups interested in art and the duration of the workshops is from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm. at the KNMA Saket, New Delhi.
The itinerary of the event is as follows:
Thursday : 23rd May 2013 :
Live Art / Performance Through Dance and Movement
conducted by Tripura Kashyap
Friday: 24th May 2013 :
Appreciating Art Through Story Telling
conducted by Manas Ranjan
Saturday : 25th May 2013 :
Exploring creativity through Collage Making
conducted by Roobina Karode, Saumya Bhatt & Debashree Banerjee
Sunday : 26th of May 2013 :
Threading Art / Weaving Dreams
conducted by Gopika Nath
Monday: 27th of May 2013 :
Press conference on Art Education 1 pm onwards
Venue: NCERT Campus
The workshops will be followed by cultural programmes from 6 pm onwards.
For registration and queries, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com or call us at: 011-49160000
Registrations and participation in the workshops are free of cost.
Keys to Rakhi Sharma’s Imagination
D D Neroy Art Gallery, Mumbai presents a solo show of art works by artist Rakhi Singh. The show titled, ‘ Keys to Imagination’ is on view from the 17th May 2013 to the31st May 2013.
As a resident of Kathmandu, Rakhi has spent her childhood in picturesque surroundings and she incorporates these scenic experiences and memories in her works. Mostly rendered in mixed media like newspapers, laces, toys artificial flowers, etc she primarily works in oils on canvas.
Rakhi assumes the role of a romantic poet and at times a staunch nature lover in her works and the outcome of such narrative works are depictions of beauty, nature and its resilience and inspirational triumphs.
The show ‘Keys to Imagination’ is on till the 31st of May 2013.
100 years of Gopal Ghose - A Retrospective
Akar Prakar Gallery, Kolkata presents a retrospective show of one of India’s finest painters of yesteryears, Gopal Ghose.The show titled, ‘ Gopal Ghose - A Jubilant Quest for the Chromatic’. The show has been curated by Sanjoy Kumar Mallik to commemorate the birth centenary celebrations of the legendary artist.
Fascinated by nature, Gopal Ghose was touted to be one of India’s finest artists who reworked the genre of landscape painting. Having traveled avidly, he dabbled in multiple mediums and excelled in each one. Tempera, pen and inks, brush and pastels all were his forte. On view at this unique retrospective are his famous and lesser known works forming a wide collection.
Kids get busy this summer at NGMA’s Painting Workshop
National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, presents a unique painting workshop specially designed for children this summer. The workshop is conducted in three groups depending on the children's age groups. Junior Group (5-8 years), Middle Group (9-12 years) and Senior Group (13-17 years).
The interested participants are to register their names at the reception of NGMA, New Delhi between 10:30 am to 4: 30 pm on 21st and 22nd of May 2013. The workshop is open for 60 participants in each category and is on first come first served basis.
The workshop is for 10 days durations and will start from 27th May to 5th June 2013 between 10:30 am to 1:00 pm.
The participants are required to bring their own materials for the workshop.
The workshop aims at introducing art in a fun and friendly way to different age groups of children to lay a gentle foundation for appreciation of art in the years to come.
For further information please contact :011-2338 2835 / 4640/ 8874, Extn No: 216.
(News Reports by Sushma Sabnis)