B. Bodh

The Stupa

When a community draws on to an archetype for its expression, the act no longer remains the expression of an individual, but the belief of the community in the sacro-sanctity of the archetype. Therefore, a stupa is not just a religious symbol, but also the living and unifying identity of a community of people – Tibetans. A reason why the motif is serving as the central form of my installation. But this stupa is not an architectural edifice but instead a monument to the truth of the Tibetan movement for freedom and justice.

1000 Tibetans have donated blood, to create a stupa as a monument to their fight for freedom and dignity. Blood banks created within various Tibetan organizations will help to collect blood from these donors who firmly believe in the cause and language of my protest. The dialogues of these thousand donors with me on this subject are being documented and complied. This documentation will form a part of the display of the final work as the donors are an integral part of my work.

The contribution of blood not only entails a participatory process but also a unifying bond. Though these thousand Tibetans are individuals in themselves, but their act of contribution has unified them through this cause. The blood of each Tibetan is different but it is solidifying into a single whole.

This conceptual installation will question the conventional use of the medium while exploring the possibilities of many more. The work explores not just the painterly qualities of the medium- blood, but also its cultural significance of sacrifice and promise. This blood justifies the death of thousand of innocents since the first Chinese aggression in Tibet. Contrary to the Chinese approach, the blood shed here does not signify violence but its opposite ‘ahimsa’.

A clay stupa of more than life size dimension will be cast in blood. Given the ephemeral quality of the medium, the preservation of this work will play a very significant role in the making of the work. This fragile stupa will be preserved in a temperature controlled glass case.

Tibetans have offered their tears, cries, petitions and protests.

Today they offer their blood.

Bodh

Art can be an expression of an individual or that of an entire community. When Hussain paints a Sarasawti, he has made his own individual interpretation of a goddess that is akin to him, but when the Warlis draw the Palighat goddess, they create an archetype instead, that, speaks of the vision and belief of a community. When a community draws on to an archetype for its expression, the act no longer remains the expression of an individual but the belief of community in the sacro-sanctity of the archetype.

Community acts are an interpretation of a set of individuals of an idea, value or an image that the community firmly holds on to. The aesthetic elements involved in the process of creation and the final work itself, make such a community work a work of art itself. No wonder, today historians and critics cry out loud, that a trail of prayer flags flying beautifully across the blue sky and cutting the green valley are not just a religious symbol but a creative conceptual art of a community. Here, seeing is important, but more than that, it’s the ‘beautiful’ concept of spreading peace and good will through the elements of nature. This ‘beauty’ of the concept is aesthetic and makes the prayer flags a work of art provided your intention is to do so.

My intention is to do so. I am an artist of Tibetan origin having passed out from the Slade School of Art, University College London, UK. I would like to create a community work of art to protest the illegal and inhuman Chinese occupation of Tibet through the language and space of art.

We have offered our tears, slogans and placards and fasting to this movement of freedom. Today I would like to offer our blood as our commitment to the truth of our movement. The stupa is not just our religious symbol but also our living identity. I request all Tibetans to donate their blood to make a stupa of Tibetan blood as a monument to our fight for freedom and dignity.

DATE OF BIRTH: 24th March, 1968.

NATIONALITY: Indian.

PROFESSIONAL PROFILE:
~ Have worked under well-known Artists/Printmakers: Barto Lomio da Santos (Portugal) Peter Doglis, Stephen Jones, (UK) Somnath Hore (India)
~ National Scholarship by the Ministry of Human Resource & Development, Govt. of India.
~ Commonwealth Scholarship by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission & British Council of U.K.
~ Invited as Jury for the Exposicao Annual de Artes Visuals by the Instituto Cultural do Governo de R.A.F. de MACAU, CHINA.
~ HOD, Visual Arts, Pathways World School Gurgaon, India.

EDUCATION:
1987 – 1992 : B.F.A. (Hons.) in Printmaking, Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal, INDIA.
1992 – 1994 : M.A (First class) in Printmaking from Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal, INDIA.
1994 – 1996 : Higher Diploma in Printmaking from Slade School of Fine Arts, University College London, United Kingdom.

AWARDS:
1992 – 1994: National Scholarship by the Ministry of Human Resource & Development, Govt. of India.
1994 – 1996: Commonwealth Scholarship by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission & British Council of U.K. November,
2005: Invited as Jury for the Exposicao Annual de Artes Visuals by the Instituto Cultural do Governo de R.A.F. de MACAU, CHINA.

COLLECTION:
My works are in the permanent collection of Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi,. India and also in many private collections in India and abroad including: Germany, Holland, United Kingdom, Scotland, France, Japan and Sri Lanka.

EXHIBITIONS:
Have exhibited in almost all the major exhibitions in India and abroad, including:
~ Triennale Mondiale Da Estampes Petita Canada.
~ Triennale Mondiale Da Estampes Petita in Gronenbach Castle, South Germany.
~ Triennale Mondiale Da Estampes Petita in Wittstoch Museum, North Germany.
~ Solo Exhibition of Water Colours at 706, Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
~ Participated in Triennale Mondiale Da Estampes Petit Format 2000. Chamalieres, France.
~ Group Exhibition of Prints at the Saga Art College, Japan.
~ Exhibition of Prints/Installations London, United Kingdom.
~ Participated in the Group Exhibition at the National Art Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
~ Solo Exhibition at the 706 Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
~ Solo Exhibition of Prints held at the Heritage Art Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
~ Exhibition of Prints held at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, United Kingdom.
~ Exhibition of Prints at the Dundee University, Scotland.
~ 35th National exhibition of fine Art, New Delhi, India.
~ Biennial (International Exhibition of Prints) at Bharat Bhavana Bhopal, India.

B.-Bodh-Mixed-media-on-canvas-72x72-inches