Canada-based artist’s Bapu portraits on show at Gandhi Museum

gandiNEW DELHI: Sixty eight years after he had first met Mahatma Gandhi at a post-Partition refugee camp in the city, artist Suraj Sadan continues to be inspired by the Bapu and his message of non violence.

On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 68th death anniversary, the National Gandhi Museum here is displaying an exhibition of Sadan’s portraits of the Father of the Nation.

Miniature models of various ashrams set up by Gandhi ranging from that in Sewagram, Maharashtra to Phoenix in South Africa, have been included in the show that is set to continue till February 14.

“I met him when I was 8 years old at Kingsway Camp in Delhi. From that day onwards I decided to draw his portraits and spread his message around the world. Since the year 1969, I have been creating images of Mahatma Gandhi,” Sadan said.

Among the artist’s favorite images he has created is a sepia tinted profile of the late freedom fighter. “Looking at the image I have always found his expression to be sarcastic and I am fond of this image,” Sadan said.

The artist, who now lives in Canada, organizes an annual international-level competition that encourages people to send in their paintings of Mahatma Gandhi.

“We select the best four among them, two from India and two from Europe,” says Sadan. Winning artists receive a cash prize of USD 100.

Chairman of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) C R Gharekhan inaugurated the exhibition today.

“It is a fabulous collection. Despite residing in Canada, it seems he has India in his heart,” the former diplomat said, adding that he hoped the exhibition would draw many visitors to the Gandhi Museum in the coming days.

“People, especially those living in Delhi, should not miss this opportunity,” he said.

Apart from Gandhi portraits of several other world leaders including Martin Luther King and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi whom Sadan considers “a fan of the Mahatma” has also been showcased.

Works by the over 70-year-old artist had previously been on display at several prominent places including WHO, UNESCO and Parliament of Canada.

In 1969, in the birth centenary year of the Mahatma, stamps on Bapu designed by Sadan for the Indian government were issued in October in the same year.–PTI

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