By Sarmistha Maiti
In this ever-changing world, there comes a time when everything seems to cease. Even then there remains a hope to begin anew to combat all odds, thus reviving the eternal harmony of the world to keep it move on. In the field of arts and aesthetics, this example can be set as one of the strongest implication of the thought that ‘tomorrow never dies’. Although with tremendous recession affecting every breath we are living now, the survival of the art world has almost been put at stake; yet good initiatives, innovating propositions, novel insights and positive executions could not be eroded from ardent intellectuals in this country who always look forward tomake a difference and renew the artistic spree in the rising insecurity prevailing among people involved in art. Bachhawat Foundation is one such grand example set in the second decade of the new millennium in the City of Joy.
December 15, 2013, in the serenity of the nature’s lap in the outskirts of Kolkata at Bachhawat Estate at Madhupur, Barasat of North 24 Parganasdistrict of West Bengal – a half an hour drive from the Kolkata International airport, the Bachhawat Foundation was formally launched in the presence of major artists from the city, art writers and critics, performing artists, gallerists, media professionals and art aficionados. Most of us know the name of Bachhawat in the art world through Aakriti Art Gallery owned by VikramBachhawat which has performed marvelously since its inception in 2005 and we also know about Chisel Arts owned and run by the Bachhawats. But that’s not all. Since 1960s the Bachhawats have been integrally contributing to art and literature with ManikBachhawat’s (a leading poet of Hindi literature and art critic and connoisseur) keen interest in supporting contemporary art and artists of the country. The entire family has been instrumental in Kolkata to bring forth many leading prospects and set an evolution in the art world.
The original idea ofBachhawat Foundation was conceived on November 1, 2012. After a lot of groundwork and research and refinement in the plans and proposals including the set-up and the establishment made, it could be finally given the shape for its formal launch on December 15, 2013. Bachhawat Foundation is basically the brainchild of the Bachhawat family– ManikBachhawat, PanneKunwar, AmitabhBachhawat, MadhuBachhawat, VikramBachhawat, PriyaBachhawat and AmanBachhawat– the board of the respectable trustees.The Bachhawats of Kolkataareknown for their contributions in the art field and their extensive patronage to the wide range of beneficiaries including visual artists, poets, writers, litterateurs, critics, craftsmen, collectors, theorists, connoisseurs and many more. They are among the key initiators to set the creative inertia of this city leading to cultural interaction between different cross-sections of art practitioners from the local identity to the global self.
Bachhawat Foundation aims to primarily conduct art residency programmes in the premises of the Bachhawat Estate. The idea is to support young creative talents and struggling artists providing them with adequate infrastructure, studio-setup, a homely work environment, the best of available facilities without unnecessary hindrances so that they can nurture, their drams, cultivate their passion and create their instincts to the worthiest form and get recognized in the world. Eminent artists, historians, connoisseurs, critics will also contribute through their master classes, workshops etc in invariable ways supporting and guiding the younger generation in their creative spree. Art Camps will be held from time to time as an integral curriculum of the Bachhawat Foundation. An interactive zone along with the collective mission to bring together artists, art galleries, art curators, art schools and institutes, art collectors and above all art lovers and many more will provide an insight to the wholesome cultural development of the society and Bachhawat Foundation promises to dedicate itself to attain the best of it.
The Bachhawat Foundation aims at an all-round development of art and the artist. So it wants to keep no stone unturned. Importance of every facet of visual arts from its traditional trends to the inception of new art mediums is going to be the primary focus of the Foundation. From the content-based art practice to the abstract formal development or conceptual art forms including an amalgamation of all forms in an ingenious installation and the finest strokes of etching and other form of graphics – the Bachhawats have given equal importance to all and embraced each art practice along with the practitioner supporting them to be able to execute the best of the best. Thus Bachhawat Foundation also finds it absolutely essential to have its different studio and infrastructure including a printmaking studio with a purely professional setup for the graphic and printmaking artists for their optimum use to channelize them for best creative exposure. The Printmaking studio has already been inaugurated on the formal opening day of the Bachhawat Foundation.
In the listing of proposed plans, Bachhawat Foundation will also have its own ceramic and pottery kiln to provide great opportunities to the artists and artisans working in this medium. A separate Metal Casting unit is also going to be set up for sculpting. Similar several other setups and studios will eventually be set up and the Bachhawat Foundation expects to live up to its dreams to the best of it. It believes in serving the society as a whole with many more cultural initiatives even in the years to come. The foundation stone has already been laid with a note of good hope. Now it is going to be time’s test that how the Foundation actually performs and how generations to come in the art world really get benefitted through this endeavour and bring about a difference in their creations as well as in the cultural discourse of the art world in the global context.