K.G.Subamanyan from Indian Narrative painting and Pakistani Miniatures
Thecultural and social history of the modern Asian history has beenchronicled or influenced by numerous depositories of miniature artsand narrative paintings in the vast public museums and privatecollections in different parts of Pakistan and India. The continuedand extended age-old tradition through newer representations andinterpretations in modern art leads to the successful spread ofcontemporary narratives of tales through varied forms and colors. Theincreased and enticing power of such continuation of miniature art isdue to its validity and value that it provides in the Asian society.Such aspects reconnects the Asian people to their root culture aswell as creating a window to other cultures in the world. However,this essay aims at discussing one of the iconic people who pioneeredthe journey to the modern art. The discussed icon is K.G.Subramanyan, who was sculptor and painter.
Subramanyanwas an art historian and theoretician who have written widely aboutthe Indian art. He has also written various delightful andillustrated fables for children. As such, all his writings formedformidable foundations for development of modern Indian art. Hetested his artwork using toys and weaving that set the establishmentof artists and artisans (Saffronart, 2014). In addition, Subramanyanreinvested numerous mediums that were earlier used in Indian art. Forinstance, glass and terracotta mural paintings were reenergized byhis artistic experiments. The artist also inspired a new dimensionfor the human figure through drawings about the rich resources oftraditions, memory, and myth that use eroticism and with toillustrate romanticism as illustrated in Figure 1. As such,Subramanyan becomes an revolutionary pioneer of the modern Asia art.
Themodernization of Asian art played a critical role during theseparation of India and Pakistan. Bangladesh was later created fromthe East Pakistan. The influence of Asian art influenced Indian togain independence in 1947 (Mitter 2001). Artists moved with speed tojoin the global allies whilst promoting and retaining the Indiantraditions. For example, only few artists renounced the usage ofnarratives of human figure. The representational art was reinstatedin 1970s and thrives until today, although it is more politicized andcomposed of much irony. The influence of post-colonial writings,politicization of art, and involvement of women’s movements on artinspired the modernization of Asian art. Most of the artists such asSubramanyan used the common people and their soil to discover theirroots that differentiate elite, high, and low subaltern art. Inaddition, the work started by Indian art pioneers such as Subramanyanlaid a strong foundation to the entire Asian community as well as therest of world that was formerly shaped by the creation of modernarchitectural systems such as public buildings, national galleries,and museums that ensure the continuity of the art. Other artists suchas Subramanyan played a major role in promoting Indian art byteaching about the culture abroad. For example, he taught NilimaSheikh to discover the radical imaginations of Ramkinkar Baij andBinode Bihari Mukherjee (Mitter 233).
Inconclusion, the modernization of Asian art was greatly promoted bythe Asian artists themselves. Subramanyan was a great contributor tothe modernization of Asian art by inspiring other artists as well asother people from other world cultures. The influential aspect ofIndian Narrative painting and Pakistani Miniatures led to theglobalization of the culture, especially by being recognized Ivarious public and private collections around the world.
Mitter,Partha. IndianArt.Oxford University Press, 2001. Print
Saffronart.“K.G. Subamanyan.” Web. 2014.<http://www.saffronart.com/artists/k-g-subramanyan>