There aren’t too many takers for Mughal miniature art, says Mohan Kumar Prajapati
There is pin drop silence in the third floor of Page Turners on M.G. Road. The workshop on Mughal miniature arts is in progress. Organised by the city-based Banna Creations, the workshop is conducted headed by Mohan Kumar Prajapati.
The artiste, who hails from Rajasthan, comes from a family that has been practising art is into this art for generations.
“This art is dying. There are not many people who are practising it. Its tedious and takes months or years to come up with one miniature painting and we are not able to generate the kind of funds for the time and effort that we put in,” he starts.
“I learnt it from my parents. I have also taught the art to my children. But whether they continue the tradition or take up regular jobs it is up to them,” he sighs.
“Earlier, this art was practised in Kashmir and also Iran. But now it is only In Jaipur that the art is alive. The reason is that miniature art is a real strain to one’s eye. We give a lot of importance to the every minute detail, even their clothes will have tiny prints of designs or shading and so on. We mainly narrate stories from the Mughal era or from the Indian mythology, which is centred around Radha and Krishna,” he explains.
Mohan sustains himself by teaching, and by supplying his work to the Rajasthan Emporium in New Delhi and Jaipur and to Delhi Cottage Emporium.
“Earlier, we used to paint on ivory. But after it was banned, I started collecting acid free paper from antique shops and worked on them. Some of the papers which I have are as old as 200 to 400 years old,” beams the artiste as he show his creative work on some of the most antique sheets of paper.
Some even have Urdu writings on them and have been incorporated into his work. With a magnifying glass the art comes alive in all its intricacy. “These are some of my precious works. I show it to very few people as not many are appreciative of such intricate work.”
Then he shows us a painting which has four elephants that are standing by a rocky terrain.
“It took me 10 days just to draw the elephants. To the normal eye its nothing big. But look at it through the magnifying glass and you will see the lovely shades in grey, the lines and the shadow work that has gone into this piece of art!
Mohan is open to teaching people who want to take to this art seriously. “It is better if they have some basic knowledge of drawing and sketching for this art calls for perfection in miniature size,” he smiles.
For details about the artiste visit www.bannacreations.com.