Rajinder Tiku

Rajinder Tiku

By Dr. Ajay Chrungoo

Rajinder Tiku is a famed sculpture artist of Kashmir. His contributions to the art of sculpture has received wide acclaim even at the international level. In recognition of his services, Tiku was recently awarded the prestigious Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant. He was invited to International Symposium at Switzerland (International De Sculptures, Sion) in 1998 and Israel (Stone inGalilee, International Stone Symposium, Maalot-Tarshiha) in 2001. He also participated in international exhibitions - Exhibitions of Sculptures at La-Grenette, Sion, Switzerland (1998), Volume and Form, Singapore, 1998-99, Feuersinne Erden Germany, 2001, Guilin-Yuzi Paradise Contemporary World Sculpture Show, China (2003).

In 1999, Lalit Kala Akademi honoured him with 'Eminent Artist' award. Tiku has been recipient of National Award for Sculpture (1993), 8th Triennale India (International) Award for Sculpture (1994) and J&K State Award for Sculpture (1978-79). Department of Culture, Ministry of Human Resources awarded him with fellowships (Junior) in 1993-95 and (Senior) in 1997-99.

Rajinder Tiku was nominated juror by Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi in 1998. Since then he has served on jury panel for Exhibitions of Lalit Kala Akademy and J&K Cultural Academy (2000, 2005); for Kalidas Samman (2002, 2004); for Lalit Kala Samman (National Award) 2002; and AIFACS All India Exhibition and Awards, 1999. He has conducted five solo exhibitions - Sculpted Images India Habitat Centre, New Delhi), 2003; Art Heritage (New Delhi) 1990, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2003; and ABC Foundation (Varanasi), 1998.

The noted sculptor has participated in prestigious group exhibition in different Cultural centres of India. These include "Only Connect", The Essence of Life (New Delhi, 2002); Combine voices for the New Century (New Delhi, 2000); Edge of the Century, Art Today (New Delhi, 1998) Major Trs in Indian Contemporary Art (New Delhi, 1997), The Indian Contemporary Art - Post Indepence (New Delhi, 1997), Harmony Show (Mumbai, 1996-1997); A Tree In My Life (New Delhi, 1995), Sculpture -95 (New Delhi), 8th & 7th Triennale (New Delhi, 1991 and 1994), Trembling Images, an exhibition of works by Kashmiri Artists (New Delhi, 1991), Bharat Bhawan Biennale (Bhopal, 1990), AIFACS International Exhibition of Graphics, New Delhi and Chandigarh (1983), All India Exhibition of Drawing (Chandigarh), Contemporary Indian Art Exhibition, Jammu 1985.

Rajinder Tiku has also been a regular seminarist on Indian Sculpture and has atted International Sculpture Symposiums at Bhopal (2002) and Hyderabad (Shilpam-2002). He took part in International Stone Carving Symposium (Stone-2000) at Baroda and International Sculptors' Symposium at Varanasi (1999). Besides this he spoke at International Sculptors' Symposium organised by IPCL, India at Nagothane (1995), Clay Symposium India at Goa in 1994 and Indo-Japan Symposium on Granite Carving-Baroda (2004). He has been participant in Artists' Camps at Bhubneshwar (2004), Pune (2003), Port Blair (2003), Jahnor (1998), Surajkund (1998), Gwalior (1996) and All India Sculpture Camp, organised by J&K Cultural Academy, 1980.

Tiku's works adorn many prestigious and public collections e.g. J&K Cultural Akademy, Lalit Kala Akademy, National Gallery of Modern Art (New Delhi); Art Heritage (New Delhi), MP Lalit Kala Academy, Ram Chhatpar Shilp Niyas (Varanasi), City of Sion, Switzerland, City of Maalot - Tarshiha, Israel, beside IPCL India, Jyoti Ltd. Baroda, NTPC, India, Transpek Silox Ltd. Baroda etc. Rajinder Tiku has also flair for writing. His articles have been published in reputed journals like Lalit Kala Contemporary, Art Heritage andKashmir Sentinel. He has been practicing and teaching sculpture since 1979 at the Institute of Music and Fine Arts, Jammu. During this period, in his art, he has tried to explore the local possibilities vis-a-vis material and thought. He is working hard to inculcate in his students a sense of affinity for their surroundings and transform the same into a sculptural idiom, that has a global identity but at the same time does not sacrifice the essential individual character. Tiku hails from Wadwan village in Budgam (Kashmir) district. He had his schooling from the local village school and secondary education from SP College, Srinagar. He holds Bachelor's Degree in Science and Law. Tiku received his training in Sculpture from the Institute of Music and Fine Arts, Srinagar.

In formation of his objects, Tiku has used stone, terracotta, ceramics, metals, scrap and their combinations. The forms that have emerged are ambiguous, metamorphic, symbolic or sacred, generating their own place. About his art, Tiku observes, "Man made shapes attract me much more than the natural ones, especially those which in one or the other way depict traces and signs of transition of time, right on their surfaces. Be it a well-used agricultural implement or an ordinary kitchen knife showing wear and tear. All such things act as visual stimuli, invoking a sense of nostalgia."

On the significance of sculpture, he remarks, "Sculpture is a larger phenomenon of which a medium and its execution into a particular form is only a part. To each and every work, there is lot more beyond its medium. Perhaps the beauty in its potential to reveal truth. The potential to work on us and impart meaning to our existence."


Of late, the noted sculptor has been involved in the project titledINTERFACE. Through the INTERFACE he has been trying to bring out in a tangible form the seemly intangible aspect of silent and sacred embedded in our tradition. Tiku is of the view that if continuity of India's ancient civilisation is to be maintained, then its civil society has to realize and rebuild the cultural traditions inherited from ancestors. He quotes Vedanta Siddhant Rina Triya-the triad of obligations to drive home his point. In an observation of profound significance, Tiku remarks : "A society's grasp of its past becomes a source for creativity in the present. It stimulates all forms of contemporary expression allowing the meaning to seep through to the images, shapes and a plethora of other cultural activities. While, looking at this phenomenon of past and present in a continuum, where lines of distinction between historical memories and personal experiences blur if not disappear, we realise an eternal source of knowledge within our ourselves. A source, which energizes us to flow on to be a part and parcel of this continuum". Getting inspired from objects ranging from mundane ones located in the immediate surroundings to monuments located in the trajectory of timelessness, Tiku perceives a quantum of images and symbols that seem to usher intellectual and philosophical human eavours into the realm of universal.

'INTERFACE' is a project that envisages an expression to sacred within the format of contemporary sculpture. Seven is an auspicious number with spiritual/cosmic connotations. Tiku has chosen seven places/regions - Kashmir, Varanasi, Konark, Rajasthan, Mahabalipuram, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. He proposes to execute seven monumental stone sculptures which in one-way or the other shall project the perceived contemporaneous at these sites. The selection of the places has been made keeping in view the cultural importance of these areas, their potential to inspire and stimulate meaningful work in sculpture along with actual working possibility. This project was conceived by Tiku while he was working at the ancient Khandagiri Caves, Orissa. He attempted to carve a simple pillar, which from a particular point would intensify the visual impact of the site in the feeling of the onlooker. Through a focussed visual study of these sites, he wants to evolve contemporary monuments and invoke the spirit of these sites.

His work, Falling Columns is an illustration of such an interface with the historical monuments in Kashmir, carved in the local available lime-stone. This 4'x4'x1½' monumental sculpture in a peculiar diagonal disposition is in fact a tribute to the spiritual movement/response/activity that is generated by such timeless movements. Tiku says that using of a similar material and trying to catch on the aspect of mass and movement would generate the inted interface. He is of the view that the display of these sculptures in the vicinity of each monument would relive India's continuous spiritual creative traditions in particular and those of the rest of the world in generalt

*The author heads Panun Kashmir

Source: Kashmir Sentinel

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