Gokal Dembi, a master painter from Rainawari (Srinagar) has rendered yeomen service to Kashmir's culture by painting Siva Sutras and Vakhs of Lal Ded. The rise of militarised Islamic fundamentalism forced Dembi and his community out from their homeland. As an anguished Kashmiri he gave vent to the agonies of losing homeland in his artistic expressions. In his quest to build cultural anchors to counter religious fundamentalism, now sweeping the Valley, Gokal Dembi conceived a project 'Rishi Tradition of Kashmir' in early 2005. He took a refreshed study of the poetry of Lal Ded and Nund Rishi in general and the aspects of visual imagery in Kashmiri mysticism in particular. At Prof. Zaffar's instance Dembi in his project--painting of Rishi Tradition started with visual representation of Siva Sutras and Vakhs of Lal Ded as these happen to be one of the basic texts of Kashmiri Rishi Tradition. Govt. of India awarded him a Senior Fellowship to facilitate his work in this direction.
Image Gallery: https://koausa.org/gallery/categories.php?cat_id=166
Shiva Sutra paintings at: https://koausa.org/gallery/categories.php?cat_id=167
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