Rajendar Tiku



It certainly is not difficult to think and understand that home is not a mere lovingly put together structure but rather a seed sown in utmost trust and faith and patiently waited for  to grow in function and imbibe and exude the aroma of its earth to charm the wanderer in each one of us. However looking at  events of the so recent past, viz-a viz dislocations and the resultant plight of  a large number of communities around the world in general and our own in particular ,the very concept of home ,the process of putting it together as a most desired and comforting environment and finding warmth and solace within it feels like a fantasy almost impossible to be realized in fact.


Living through an existential crisis of being homeless and at the same time fondling a natural desire for a home has many a time evoked in me a logical feeling to deal with the aforesaid concept in terms of its antithesis, where the very perception of home through present times comes forth as something already dissipated due to one or the other reason or an apparent  impossibility to form again. The perpetual agony caused as a result seems to appear and reappear in various shapes and forms.


Even as memories that were once an immense untold happiness as sure as the light of day cannot be reinstituted to form the present. A trauma continues to be verily and more commonly lived, felt and readjusted by the politik or anything else. The home always seems to perch far loftier , beyond our reach. Politicking, justifying and finding lame excuses to divert attention has become rampant.


Verbalizing sculpture is difficult, especially the kind where one does not have direct, particular and recognizable references. It is here that one needs to be more focused so as to arrive at a form that transcends its own material and dimensional limitations and attains a sufficient formal autonomy. As a result, the evolvedform generates its own space and establishes its presence which now may be called as its reality.


I think, the reality a work of art attains is sum total of what we see, react to, remember, think about, perceive and then together externalize these aspects as a concrete manifestation. The whole process, which may also be called the process of creativity, needs time – a period of gestation.


It is important, however at that same time to realise that in the name of creativity one does not drift in the attitude of triviality and selfish individualism that seeks only a short-lived private joy. Creativity should rather be aimed at attaining independence that in turn imparts enough visual impact and aesthetic strength to what is created, the strength that decides and establishes the contemporaneity of a work of art and at the same time makes it eternal in its value and effect.


For us as practitioners of art it is an important phenomenon, which needs to be understood and internalise as an attitude that helps us to imbibe tradition and effort to transcend it to build a new psychological makeup. Looking at this phenomenon from the point of view of human perception also, one understands that a society’s grasp of its part becomes a source of creativity in the present. It stimulates all forms of contemporary expression, allowing the meaning to seep through images, shapes and a plethora of the other cultural activities. While looking at this phenomenon of past and present as a continuum, where lines of distinction between historical memories and personal experiences blur if not disappear, we realise an eternal source which energises us to flow on to be a part and parcel of the same.


Based broadly on this understanding, I have been trying to bring out in a tangible form, the seemingly intangible aspect of the silent and sacred imbedded in our civilizational life and tradition. Getting inspired from shapes of objects ranging from mundane ones located in our immediate surroundings, to the visual grandeur of monuments located in the trajectory of the timelessness, I perceive a quantum of images and symbols that seem to usher technical, intellectual and philosophical human endeavors into realm of the universal.


May I state further, that practicing Sculpture should involve, materialising those spatial and plastic relationships, which are fuelled with energy to transport us beyond the particularity of the structure, the physicality of the medium and the situational time frames into an area where environment of the aspirations is not only realised but enhanced also. This phenomenon, in turn may relieve us of our direct physical or visual bonding with the work of sculpture and even while standing within its space allows us to generate our freely expanding aspirational space. Internalising, such a potential of sculpture to induce, generate and establish all these emotive and psycho-spatial relationships and practicing sculpture for more than 30 years now, I realise that sculpture is a larger phenomenon of which a medium, its execution and dimension etc is only a part. The lot more beyond these attributes is its potential to work in return on us and impart meaning to our existence.


Rajendar Tiku was born in Wadwan, 1953, a remote village in the mountainous landscape of Jammu and Kashmir, the northern most state of India, in 1953, in a Kashmiri Pandit family. His graduate studies were at the Sri Pratap College, Srinagar, where he founded the Sri Pratap College Artists’ Association and Tiku, simultaneously, studied clay modeling and stone carving, by attending the evening classes of a five year course conducted by the Institute of Music and Fine Arts in the city, which he completed in 1978. The course offered Tiku exposure to the art of ancient cultures and modern masters. After completing B.Sc., Tiku graduated in law from the Srinagar University, but continued attending the various art camps organized by the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages. Rajendar Tiku started his career as a teacher at the Burn Hall School, Srinagar, but moved, shortly afterwards, to the Institute of Music and Fine Arts, his alma mater, as an artist cum teacher. He lives in Jammu and Kashmir. Rajendar Tiku has received both the junior (1993–95) and senior (1997–98) fellowships of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the Government of India; received National Award for Sculpture in 1993 and the 8th Triennial India (International) Award for Sculpture, 1994. He is a recipient of a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York, 2005. Tiku has been invited to many sculpture workshops in Switzerland, Israel, Russia, Egypt, Thailand, Cambodia and Turkey. In 2013, the Government of India honoured Rajendar Tiku with the fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shri. He received Gottlieb Foundation (New York) Individual Grant for advanced work in Sculpture in 2015. Tiku has also published many articles in local magazines and journals. He has also been credited with using Śāradā script, a dying script of the Kashmiri language. Rajendar Tiku has had solo and group exhibitions: Womb & the Sprout, solo exhibition at Threshold Art Gallery 2017. Metaphors in Matter (2008) held at Gallery Espace, New Delhi, India; Bronze (2006) organized by Lalit Kala Akademi, held at Gallery Espace, New Delhi, India; Sculpted Images (2003) India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India; Solo Exhibitions (1990, 1992, 1995, 1998 and 2003) held at Art Heritage, New Delhi, India; Threshold Art Gallery represented Rajendar Tiku at India Art fair 2018 & 2019. Bakhiya, Curated by Tunty Chauhan at Threshold, New Delhi 2020.  National Exhibition of Art (India) organized by the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society; International Exhibition of Graphic Prints; Bharat Biennial of Contemporary Indian Art; 7th and 8th Triennial, India. India Reflections
inArtibus Foundation, Moscow, 2022.

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