Monday, June 24, 2013

The wood architecture of Sarahan in Himachal

Sarahan is a small hamlet with lovely walks and laden apple trees. The Bhimakali temple is a a typical Kinnauri wood and stone architecture combining Buddhist Tibetan elements combine with Hindu iconography.

.the bottom pic is the serene Himalaya ranges visible from the Chitkul village in Sangla valley.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Travels in Kalpa, Kinnaur, Lahaul Spiti, Sarahan

After a long bout of ill health I embarked on retrieving from memory the  novel that I was penning due to Hard Disc crash. But the desire to be high and away into the Nature forced me to seek out nether parts of Himachal Pradesh in India.
 Nature is in Humans and Humans are the Nature! La belle femma
As we drove up from Narkanda  to Sarahan in higher Himachal we were greeted by this charming lady who was carting fresh fodder for the cattle. In simplicity, hospitality and stunning good looks few can rival Himachalis. India is and endless experience and one can not have enough of it ever. For me from the hot Tamilnadu where I had been camping regularly for my book on Pallava and Chola art this was the other end of very rich and stimulating experience.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tamil Temple art

The art of Tamils has intimate relation with temples. Be it dance, music, poetry, songs, paintings, murals, stucco, sculptures in stone, bronze and wood all were given great impetus by temple building that started in durable stone material with Pallvas and continued thereafter.
Eroticism is a common thread that runs through temples not only in Tamil land but in rest of India from early times. While the spiritual aspect of gods is emphasized their sensual love is not underplayed in temple narratives.
Stucco: Erotic art Sarangapani Kumbakonam Tamil Nadu
Love is an important part of godliness in Hindu pantheon.

Kumbakonam:The town of Tamil temple art

Kumbakonam lives in the midst of history; nay it is history living in present. The town holds in its fragrant lap a number of ancient temples and is surrounded by grid of large number of temples. The celebrated Ramaswamy temple is in the middle of the town and has beautiful sculptures.
The photo here is a small temple built on kulam of the temple. The colourful stucco gopuram has at it base a daily dose of posters. Here the guy is putting gum on the poster to stick it on the wall while the old man with staff is full of verve and watches the next change of film.
God and film star: Kumbakonam Tamil Nadu
The images are dominant part of Tamil culture here god shares his temple with modern day demi-gods. This small temple has been encroached upon by human devotee who runs a shop (shuttered here) selling garments sharing space with God.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Great Art of Tamils: Stucco sculptures

Siva Natraja Temple gopuram Chidambram
India is a vast land inhabited with flourishing human culture from earliest times of human civilization. It evolved a unique amalgam of religions,social and cultural space that we call Indian. Since it is a vast and more varied land India has remarkable differences in the art and culture in different parts. The influence of Aryan Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism provided a new composite culture in art specially temple art. The highly imaginative Tamil artists excelled in every form of expression--sculptures  in stone, bronze, wood, murals and paintings, architecture and stucco art. Though stucco has a long history in India and it flourished during Gandhara period it is in Tamil temples it acquired new heights of creative expression. The new architectural ideas of Pallavas that led to monumental gopurams in Chola period became the space on which to create massive narratives of stucco sculptures. Tamil stucco is created in stages. The gopuram stucco sculptures are in first stage made with bricks. Next  with a mortar of sand and lime is applied to the structure. In the last stage fine mixture of ground marble powder is applied and details of the sculpture are created. The sculptures are painted when the surface is dry. Most sculptures are painted in very vivid colours but some temples have a tradition of  painting in  simple cream white colour. When you appreciate the artistic beauty of a Pallava, Chola, Pandya and Chera temple you find art at every step, every nook every corner. The lower part of gopurams generally have stone sculpture  and higher up are very colourful stucco sculptures in great numbers.
thus Tamil temples had stone, bronze, stucco sculptures, metal reliefs, murals and wood carvings.

Friday, January 27, 2012

India art Fair 2012

Director Canvas Art Gallery  Rakesh Gupta at Fair

L to R Artist Shyam sherma, Dharmendra Rathod, Hem Raj, Pankaj

Art Lovers
In India we were not doing many things. But for three-four years we are having in Delhi an art fair that helps India and the world showcase their art. People come from small towns, from big cities, from India and abroad. Art galleries, collectors, curators, advisers, artists, students and the laity all come to see what new is happening and where the masterworks of maestros. Some pics for you to see the tenor and mood of India Art Fair.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Chennai and former Madras I love

Homeless by outer Church wall Chennai
My love for the great cultural conglomerate called Dravid and narrowly Tamil is greedy and selfish--more I relish  much more I desire. Though my focus of study for my book is early Tamil art of Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas and Cheras I can not isolate and ignore all that marvellous in art and culture I come across.
After spending two and half months in Tamilnadu I was to take flight on Monday from Chennai. Since i arrived in Chennai on Saturday evening I decided to explore Chennai whole of Sunday. I arrived in the George town walked through Flower Bazaar, China Bazaar and surrounding areas. The life in these Bazaars is more quiet on a Sunday since all shops are closed and movement of people takes place.

A house for a  Sunday--Chennai street

Invoking God  in the street Chennai

Statue of king George v  where families live with their sweet children in squalor

Mothers n Children near king George V Statue Chennai
 I saw buildings that came up during Colonial period of British occupation of India. I also confronted beautiful people with warm souls but deprived of a respectful life. I discovered not persons but families, social groups, sharing poor humanity and a bleak life that blankets large number of people Chennai. There is daunting homelessness that is visible in its nakedness only on a Sunday. For sure these people are  the manual sinews of the the businesses that run in these Bazaars, they exist outside of most exquisite and stately Churches. for me the contrast of the opulent Houses of sufferer for the poor Jesus and the poor on the streets of Chennai was very daunting. I also wonder why  all the political parties offer lollipops at the time of elections without an effort to solve the problems of inequality, economic enablement and permanent improvement of the abject life of the very poor. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

The art of Tamils: Fragrance of Jasmine

I have  been working for quite some time on my next book on the art of ancient Tamils. I call it The Fragrance of Jasmine. I just returned from my yet another trip from Kerala and Tamilnadu (south Tamilnadu this time).
What holds me in awe is great imagination creativity, freshness and unique art that the Tamils created. My focus is  on visual fine arts from early period of Tamil history. Strewn throughout Tamilnadu in little known villages are great treasures of Tamil and therefore Indian art. There are problems of accessibility, transportation and basic infrastructure. But it is doubly or triply compensated by the love, affection and hospitality of common Tamils in beautiful small villages with uncommon warmth and desire to help and share. This honeyed land was called Tamilakam from early Sangam Era and  is so charming to behold, full of magic and ever-inviting in its matchless beauty.
It is a long haul to ingest the artistic landmarks in painting, murals, stuccoo, stone and bronze sculptures, and temple architecture of  Pandya, Chera, Chola and Pallavas. But then it is immense joy to immerse in this great art of Tamils.
Viktor Vijay
8th Janurary 2012 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pitalkhora, Ajanta and Ellora--the Art of ancient India

I have been exploring and revisting the ancient art of India in North and West India. Specifically I visited Deogarh In Uttar Pradesh near Lalitpur. Very difficult to arrive at Deogarh no regular transport not much for stay and no arrangement for food. But then if you have your angel with you does it really matter.The place has the temple from Gupt period 5th century the golden Age of India. the temple 'Dasavtara' is the first stand alone temple with a shikhara.
Next I moved to Ajanta in Maharastra to savour yet again the great murals and sculptures from Satavahana and Vakataka period.
Further away to Ellora where a spent three days (not enough for my studies.

                                                      A rare mural from Pitalkhora Caves

The Nature at Deogarh UP
the river is Betwa that divides UP and Madhya Pradesh


                                                          Ajanta Murals--the golden height of Indian art

Last I explored Pitalkhora Caves near Kannad that is about 50kms from Ellora.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A question to Niall Ferguson-- did slavery and Colonialism of 'Christian' West not devavour the Rest?

India has the oldest surviving religion of the world and a billion plus population being moved by it in search of the material and spiritual. The 'Renaissance' led by Papal authorities encouraging and actively canvassing slave trade, and Colonialism of all non-European cultures was the bane of humanity and Humanism.
Later the onslaught of proselytizing white 'Christianity' subsumed under Rome the singular right to be 'Christian Church'. Even now the Christianity is projected as a Western religion, which is not true--neither Jesus nor the earliest practioners were Western. It was the Byzantium and the Eastern Church as also the Syrian Christians and other Eastern strains that propagated Christianity as non-racist. But the dominance of Roman Church  (and later Anglican Church in Colonies like India) brought about a racial stranglehold of Christianity and it did not dither in making  Western White 'Christian'  Man as  a model of the 'Humanity' while helping to decimate other cultures in Americas, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa. The Idea of God as monotheistic is not dangerous but the danger is in fascistic forcing others to 'One particular monotheistic God' to the exclusion of others--polytheistic or monotheistic.

I rebut Niall Ferguson's

Civilization: The West and the Rest

  self-gloating Western superiority hereunder from my book Mona Lisa does not smile anymore (ISBN 978-81-8465-512-4)

"The voyages of exploration were the dawn of Racialism and Colonialism. In the year 1600, the Indian economy amounted to 22.54 per cent of the world GDP, while Britain and Western Europe's combined economies amounted to 21.82 per cent. By 1870, India's share was down to 12.25 per cent, while in Western Europe it increased to 32.71%. At its prosperous best Mughal Empire produced 24.5% of world GDP in the year 1700. By the time British colonists occupied India and other nations their GDP rose to 23.8% of the world in 1870. "
It is clear West climbed over the bodies of the Rest to attain material surpluses that through Cos like East India Company ushered in development of West from the loot of the Rest.
The complete lack of moral unease in subjugating so many and killing no less through slave shipping, indentured labour, Colonization and a Church that helped in these grand ventures of the West  is what Ferguson's book tries to white wash. The writings of likes of Ferguson are unabashed revival of Colonialism in the garb of  (partisan) academics of the West. His  arguments smack of blatant racism.  But so much is dark and gory under the white loaded brush of West that Ferguson can not whitewash it.

Black Mona Lisa painting  by Viktor Vijay

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Cultures and art of the East--India

"Some day the history of colonization and slavery of the world would be written by the progeny of the sufferers or by disinfected intellectuals of white race. Jesus who himself was not of white race would have felt pained  and distressed in soul that in His name innocent humanity would first be demonized as heathen, barbarian and then  be  ‘civilized’ through a  demonic clergy, colonial master act and  slave trading ‘Christians’ for 500 long years." (page 107) excerpts from the book
 Painting by Viktor vijay from book  Mona Lisa does not smile anymore

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Art Reveal-- contemporary Indian Art n artists: Mona Lisa does not smile anymore- art of India

Art Reveal-- contemporary Indian Art n artists: Mona Lisa does not smile anymore- art of India: "In Goa and Portugal history and development the authors Charles Borges and Hannes stubbe argue that conversions were not done by violence a..."


Mona Lisa does not smile anymore- art of India

In Goa and Portugal history and development the authors Charles Borges and Hannes stubbe argue that conversions were not done by violence and threat. (Page 292). All the armed guards with the missionaries roamed Goa villages to capture and convert Hindus were not on a picnic. The laws and conditions made Hindus and Muslims to live in utter deprivation and discrimination; it was force of a subtle kind used against Hindus and Muslims to die or to convert. Hindus who had to pay very high taxes hypothecated their lands to church proxies. They also went to neighbouring states and cultivated the lands of Muslims to avoid pauperization resulting from discriminatory tax policies on Hindus. Many of these Hindus were killed in Inquisition for going to work in a neighbouring state.

The writings of missionaries are replete with words like heathen, barbarians, and proselytizing was the reason for deprecating all that was Indian culturally and in religion. It was a fresh assault on India and its culture and religion that would last till the year1947.

On all graves howsoever old flowers grow

But do not forget those, who lie beneath

So called Renaissance brought tremendous suffering, relocation, destruction of ways of life, culture, death, loss of freedom, disease, insults, loss of economic means of survival, for Asia and others.

The number of people killed and those who lost their freedom were in millions and the mercantilist greed and religious bigotry of Christendom of the time played an important and decisive role in the tale of horror.

Friday, March 11, 2011

artists and their art In present--good bad and indifferent

" Even in art many desire the linearity of the familiar. There are artists who feel satisfied to repeat, for it puts no burden of searching in dark. Their works toss in the muddy water of superficiality and are akin to a brand. Collectors try to recognise the signature style more than the soul of art work. What pity, are we as artists cocooned to be Sisyphus. Picasso worked in different styles all his life. Gerhard Richter the German artist was criticized for what is called sailing in two boats. He paints very abstract works and at the same time makes cataract-eye-view photo-realist portraits. Do we have only one sided possibilities as humans and are doomed to act in one particular fashion? Are we one dimensional man? Are we artists a factory machine, destined to produce similar products?
Why do some artists feel snug in painting by a mould?"
excerpts from the book on Indian and Western art Mona Lisa does not smile anymore (ISBN 978-81-8465-512-4)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Why Picasso has his finger on the 21st century's pulse
My comment on Picasso's relevance for Modern art in the Link above.

Monday, March 7, 2011

/ (On Indian art market)

Visit above site to learn about working of Indian art market in my article Tulips and art-Indian art market

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chance Consciousness Art--A fresh foray in Indian art

Man Who Fell acrylic on canvas 42"X34" Viktor Vijay

Art is celebration of Life

Georg Brandner, Nora, Mrs and Mr Baljit S. Chadha, Viktor Vijay

Sdn Manmohan Chadha welcoming Georg Brandner

Sdr Baljit S. Chadha Studio Vasant welcoming Nora

I have tried to explicate my art philosophy and my present art in my book Mona Lisa does not smile anymore. The global context of my art is in the socio-cultural-religious philosophy of India that has religions that prohibit violence even to insects or violation of humanity. Mahatma Gandhi's life and philosophy was a sterling example of this inclusive culture. My art is contextual to a belief in higher order of universe that humans call 'Chance' and an inner certitude based on a higher consciousness. Through art we search for a higher purer Man. The German Expressionism denigrated by Hitler and Fascists confronted us with the uglier side of humanity. Otto Dix was a great savant of this art. Living for few weeks in Dresden I was confronted by his Der Krieg (The War) triptych in Neue Meister and it rattled me to my guts. My art is obliged to German Expressionism for laying bare the uglier side of humanity. it was perfect for me therefore to seek out Abstract Expressionist Georg Brandner of Styria Austria to open my recent exhibition CHANCON Art in Delhi.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Indian art a fresh look--Mona Lisa does not smile anymore

'The art of India sought inspiration in philosophy of non-violence and inclusiveness. West instead suckled on the grandeur of the highly regimented war mongering Roman Empire. The art of Cholas, Chalukyas, Vijaynagar, Budhists and the Jains in India is far superior to the works of so called Renaissance Europe. This book presents a case of how Human context of art was predominant in Indian art while art of Europe was based on a slave owning, colonial and racially charged society.' Viktor vijay in Mona Lisa does not smile anymore

Indian art Market link

Contemporary Indian painting Search by Viktor Vijay
acrylic on canvas, 58"X78" 2010

Find my in depth study on contemporary Indian art market at

Sunday, February 20, 2011

viktor vijay on Sotheby's and Ohio University web site

A new art Movement Chance Consciousness Art by contemporary Indian artist Viktor Vijay

Mother (Viktor Vijay) contemporary Indian art
58"X78" acrylic on canvas

Dreaming Humanity (Viktor Vijay) contemporary Indian art
Contemporary Indian artist Viktor Vijay Delhi on Sotheby's contemporary n Ohio university site.

You may find my articles on Ohio university Akron college web site and on Sothebys Contemporary web sites

Friday, February 18, 2011

A book on Indian art--Mona Lisa does not smile anymore

Black African Mona Lisa painting by Viktor Vijay contemporary Indian artist

Mona Lisa does not smile anymore

Excerpts from the book by Viktor Vijay Kumar

“If I had to choose between an erudite Aristotle and an unknown ‘soulless’ black slave I would choose the latter. The ascendancy of the West was on a heap of bodies of slaves and trampled humanity through colonization.”

“Slavery, Colonization, European Imperialism, corruption of Church, was the hall mark of Renaissance. Intolerance was another feature of so-called-Renaissance. Jew and Muslim communities were expelled from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella—the Spanish royal ruler couple. European occupation of Americas and rationalisation of over-lording of other cultures and communities was regarded as the right of ‘Christians’ over ‘non-believers’. They regarded themselves as the superior masters over the destiny of other communities. Christian Church played a predominant Euro-centric role in the creation of tools of Colonialism.”

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chance-Consciousness Art CHANCON-Viktor Vijay's latest solo exhibition

I have been long thinking of a book alongside my present exhibition in Visual Art Gallery Habitat Centre Delhi India. Why not to talk of the philosophy and the personal journey in creating my art? While curators, and critics have there job cut out, why not to tell art lovers and people related to art what happens when i think, travel, feel, love and live myriad moods to my painting and creation. I went ahead--as I painted and took breaks I took my lap top and wrote--wrote in the moment fresh from the streaking, flowing colours on the canvas; colours searching their own joys on the surface. Awakening inner consciousness and throwing in the dice of 'Chance' on the canvas I arrive to artistic expression.
Well it is never too bad to travel alone and to keep the company of the void and absences in creating bereft of the outer shell of thoughts and appearances.
This what i do in my art. You have here one of my works from the ongoing exhibition at Jagdev Farm at Ghitorni New Delhi till 28th Feb 2011.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mona Lisa does not smile anymore

My book

Mona Lisa does not smile anymore

I publish my new book on art of India and Europe alongside my solo exhibition of paintings at Studio Vasant at Visual Art gallery upto 12 Feb and from 13th to 28 Feb 2011 at Chadha Jagdev Farms Road No 3 Ghitorni Village New Delhi. The book published by Studio Vasant New Delhi is soon to be available in leading bookshops in India and is distributed nationally by Variety Book Depot New Delhi. the book is about the spirituality of art India and the art of the West specially the 'Renaissance' period. Art of India has a sterling holism and inclusiveness of humanity while Western art lingers. the secular elements are predominant feature of the temple art of India.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Photo Viktor Vijay

Austrian Landscapes

Gustav Klimt known more for his art deocrativ portraiture also excelled in landscapes. He developed a small strokes technique that is regarded as more of telescopic focus on the landscape.
I saw one very beautiful sun bathed landscape in Gallery Etienne in New York. Attersee Lake in Austria had Klimt's Studio where he painted many beautiful landscapes in lovely summer and autumn light. Mr Ronald Lauder should be thanked for his love of fin de siecle Austrian art that he has created in beautiful building The Neu Galerie in New York. The Museum has a large body of erotic drawings from Egon Schiele. The most expensive painting by Klimt a portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer that was for long in Belvedere Museum in Vienna reverted back to the family and was acquired by Lauder and is proudly housed in Neue Galerie.
Long time in Austria and Germany has etched a joy in the summer-autumn landscapes that I always relish. Klimt was one such votary. My autumn series incidentally was also born in Austria in Salzburg. Staying in the atelier of my friend Eva Mazzucco I worked a splash and dots technique did abstracts in 2003-2004.
Viktor Vijay

Monday, March 9, 2009

The series is inspired by Autmn sensibilities
Acrylic on canvas
$4500 each


A very long time back I lived and painted on an old boat anchored on Danube near Black sea in Romania. It was autumn and the landscape was a passionate rust, crimson and yellow ochre. It was magical to say the least. I was in communion with the landscape. At other times I would breathe in the autumn landscapes of Europe in Finland, Tatra Mountains in Slovakia and Poland, Styria in Austria, Alpine Piedmonte in Italy, France, and Hungry.
The senses are seduced by the proliferating warm colours as the leaves turn from cool green to life red, rust, brick, yellow-ochre, brown colours. Something happens to soul, it starts to sing, is inundates by a dazzling warmth and pleasantness. Autumn used as a metaphor run to life as well as death. Poets often use the negative metaphor but for visual artists autumn is the great celebration of the festival of colours of joy. By a quirky association I relate the red beard of Vincent Van Gogh in his famous self portrait (1887) to the red of autumn.
But is not the autumn the surfeit of rejuvenation. Do we not talk of the birth death rebirth cycle? Is the Resurrection of Jesus not an emblem of continuity of life and hope? So why be afraid of death? Paul Laurence Dunbar looks at autumn as a celebration and reason of joy—

The earth is just so full of fun
It really can't contain it;
And streams of mirth so freely run
The heavens seem to rain it.
Don't talk to me of solemn days
In autumn's time of splendor,
Because the sun shows fewer rays,
And these grow slant and slender.
Viktor Vijay

Fragrance of Autumn-1

Dealt in splash-dot style I have developed this technique in 2003-4 while satying and working in Salzburg, Austria in my friend Eva Mazucco's atelier

The work is 58X78 inches

Acrylic on canvas

Status :Available

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Drawing---the soul of art

Drawing---the soul of art
Drawing is the structure which is embellished to create the edifice of painting. Drawing captures the genetic nuances of forms—their flow, rhythm, movement, composition, mood. Drawing is unifocal and is often based on lines or monochromes. Drawing in Asian tradition is an independent medium at par with painting. Chinese and Japanese techniques base on non-disruptive continuous strokes to render a mood or a stance. Zen drawings breathe on spiritual, meditative frugality and follow the dictum, ‘less is more’. Drawing brings our focus on inner fulcrum rather than outward as is often the case with vary chromed paintings. Drawing lifts our perception higher than the imminent sensorial cue.
The present exhibition has a wide spectrum of expression from Maestros and emerging talent in Indian art space. In terms of valuation a drawing is generally placed below paintings but higher up graphics and prints. Each drawing is a unique expression of the intent and exploration by an artist. Very many important/landmark paintings by great artists are based on the primary drawings. In 2008 while in New York City for my solo exhibition I savoured a fine collection of Gallery St.Etienne. Prominent among artists whose drawings were exhibited included Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and Oskar Kokoschka. Some of the drawings were the foundation of great works by these Maestros. The prices of the works ranged between 1to 2 million dollars. Kind and suave 85 year old gallery director Ms. Hildegard Bachert shared with me the history of some great paintings that were based on quite a few of the drawings.
In sum a good drawing may happen to cost very little to a collector initially but in time can acquire great value if it is path breaking or is basis of a great painting.

Viktor Vijay Kumar
2nd Feb.2009