In the last week of March 2011, Buddha Enlightened-2 project was hosted in Patna’s Gandhi Maidan. Many international and national artists participated in this project. Sanjeev Sinha, the project director of this event, writes a short note on his works which were displayed for this mega event.
I believe that no sensible person on this earth wants Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be repeated, but we are so engrossed in our mundane existential problems that we are hardly bothered what is happening all around us. A constant turmoil, tension, destruction is going on in a very subtle manner in day to day life and yet we think who cares? I think we have to take care of our world in all its manifestations inner and outer. Until unless we don’t realize it there will be constant threat and conflict. What we have forgotten is the mantra of peace, co-existence, respect of human being, nature so on so forth. War is not a solution of our problems since time immemorial it has been proved and yet, we are so divided that we fear to adopt and feel unsecured to adopt and work on the resolution of peace, non-violence and disarmament. To express his intention to give the chance to the peace for the peaceful co-existence and non-violence world Ashoka the great created many shanti-stambha (peace pillar) to propagate his message of peace and non-violence all over the world. It was all about having peaceful environment where all countries should come together neglecting the color of skin and origin of people, that’s how so many site-specific art works were done as public art projects. In contemporary time site-specific public work became religious, memorial, ritualistic, political or social site.
Art work which are created whether in past or present they are combinations of geographical and socially related references and contexts, taking care of their own culture, traditions, geographical, political and historical backgrounds. History reveals that when Ashoka the great resigned from war, rest of his life he devoted to promote peace and non-violence. He made many shanti-stambha on different locations in India. Getting an idea and inspiration from there, being an artist I strongly feel that the most important for me to go further to revalidate the idea of peace and to (re)work and (re)invent it conceptually. As long as I recall my memories after Ashoka no pillar for peace has been put up, so I made a pillar build up from metal barbwire, swords and scissors. It looks painful because we are all affected by the continuous worldwide violence, conflict, tension and turmoil. The solution we come up with is bringing peace with armed forces and military operation that is why I used the weapons all over on the tower and innocent bird on the top as metaphor of freedom, peace and non-violence in the closest way of both in terms of perception and conception.
In modern time Mahatma Gandhi was the voice of oppressed humanity, non-violence and peace. In the same line of thought I created Gandhi’s spectacle with barbwire (invented in South Africa) combined with feather made out of metals. A performative piece and a metaphoric object for world peace, which is simple and hard to achieve at the same time.