The High Commission of the Republic of T&T, in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), hosted an art exhibition entitled MILAP at the Azad Bhavan Art Gallery, New Delhi, India, from May 31 to June 5.
The event was jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Planning and Sustainability, Government of T&T and ICCR, Government of India. The exhibition featured four artists–Tessa Alexander Sloane-Seale, who was invited to attend from Trinidad, Anita Chandradath Singh, BK Guru and Pankaj Guru who are resident in Delhi.
This was the initiative of T&T High Commissioner to India Chandradath Singh, who is an advocate of public diplomacy and the use of soft power through culture, art and music in international affairs, and was one in a series of major cultural programmes organised by the High Commission over the past two years.
The main theme of the event was to celebrate the deep cultural ties between T&T and India and also T&T's Indian Arrival Day.
Smt Chandresh Kumari Katoch, Minister of Culture, Government of India, blessed the event as the chief guest at the preview and Indian Arrival Day celebrations at the Grand Hotel, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, and Alexander gave her a gift of one of her watercolours.
As the featured artist, Alexander's display of her brilliant Caribbean colours through water colours and oil paintings reflected lifestyles and landscapes of T&T and was very well received by the large audience that was intrigued by the representations of T&T's culture.
Anita Chandradath Singh's mastery, in using a mix medium, added a rich dimension to the exhibition, showcasing life in T&T through her impressive bronze pieces, the vibrancy of T&T dance and carnival in watercolour and island scenes through her clay moulding.
Both Alexander's and Singh's work incorporated items that highlight T&T's multi-ethnicity and were used as a backdrop for the Indian Arrival Day celebrations, which was organised by the High Commission to coincide with the art exhibition.
Balkishan Guru is one of India's celebrated bronze sculptors and his pieces displayed at the exhibition reflected this fact. Each item of his was the work of a master artist. Balkishan's father was born in T&T and is the elder brother of Madan Gopal who recently passed away in T&T. Pankaj Guru, Balkishan's son, has already created a name for himself in the art world in India. His display was not only refreshing in the technique he used for his bronze sculptures but also in the deep philosophical approach in his thematic presentation.
The event was well-received by the Indian public with various stakeholders attending and expressing their delight. The artistic community was well-represented, many of whom commented on the high level at which the event was organised in terms of the display itself and the effectiveness with which the richness and diversity of T&T culture were displayed.