Culture Ministry initiates Project PARI for 46th World Heritage Committee meeting

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In conjunction with the 46th session of the World Heritage Committee in New Delhi, India, held between July 21-31, the Ministry of Culture has launched Project PARI (Public Art of India). This initiative is designed to foster dialogue, reflection, and inspiration, enriching the nation’s dynamic cultural fabric. The project is being executed by the Lalit Kala Akademi and the National Gallery of Modern Art.

Project PARI celebrates public art that draws from India’s millennia-old artistic heritage (lok kala/lok sanskriti) while incorporating modern themes and techniques. These artistic expressions highlight the intrinsic value of art in Indian society, underscoring the nation’s enduring commitment to creativity and artistic expression.

India has always been a vibrant center of artistic expression, with a rich history of public art reflecting the country’s cultural and spiritual diversity. From ancient rock-cut temples and intricate frescoes to grand public sculptures and vibrant street art, India’s landscapes have long been adorned with artistic marvels. Historically, art has been deeply intertwined with daily life, religious practices, and social customs, manifesting through various forms such as dance, music, theatre, and visual arts.

Public art holds particular significance, reflecting the nation’s rich and diverse cultural heritage. The democratization of art through public installations transforms urban landscapes into accessible galleries, where art transcends traditional venues like museums and galleries. By integrating art into streets, parks, and transit hubs, these initiatives ensure that artistic experiences are accessible to all. This inclusive approach fosters a shared cultural identity and enhances social cohesion, inviting citizens to engage with art in their daily lives.

More than 150 visual artists from across the country have come together to create the various wall paintings, murals, sculptures, and installations under this project. The creative canvas includes, but is not limited to, artwork inspired by and/or drawn in the styles of Phad paintings (Rajasthan), Thangka painting (Sikkim/Ladakh), miniature painting (Himachal Pradesh), Gond art (Madhya Pradesh), Tanjore paintings (Tamil Nadu), Kalamkari (Andhra Pradesh), Alpona art (West Bengal), Cheriyal painting (Telangana), Pichhwai Painting (Rajasthan), Lanjia Saura (Odisha), Pattachitra (West Bengal), Bani Thani Painting (Rajasthan), Warli (Maharashtra), Pithora Art (Gujarat), Aipan (Uttarakhand), Kerala Murals (Kerala), and Alpana art (Tripura), among others.

The proposed sculptures being created for Project PARI include a wide range of ideas, such as tributes to nature, concepts inspired by the Natyashastra, Gandhi ji, Indian toys, hospitality, ancient knowledge, Naad (the primeval sound), harmony of life, and Kalpataru (the divine tree). Some of the artworks and sculptures draw inspiration from World Heritage Sites such as Bhimbetka, with the seven natural World Heritage Sites in India finding a special place in the proposed artworks.

Significantly, women artists are an integral part of Project PARI, and their participation in large numbers is a testament to Bharat’s NARI SHAKTI (women power). This inclusion highlights the vital role of women in shaping the cultural and artistic landscape of the nation.

Project PARI stands as a monumental initiative that not only celebrates India’s rich artistic heritage but also brings it into the public realm, ensuring that art is a part of everyday life for all citizens. This project is set to make a lasting impact on the cultural fabric of India, inspiring future generations to appreciate and engage with the nation’s artistic legacy.

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