Rock on!

Exhibition on rock art from India, China

Updated - March 10, 2016 05:33 am IST

Published - March 10, 2016 12:00 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The India-China Rock Art exhibition-cum-workshop is on at the IGNCA till March 27 .— Photo: Special Arrangement

The India-China Rock Art exhibition-cum-workshop is on at the IGNCA till March 27 .— Photo: Special Arrangement

Save for Antarctica, rock art belonging to different periods is found in every continent and provides an insight into how expression through art has developed over time.

India and China are fortunate to have one of the largest congregations of rock art, and an exhibition of photographs in the city shows the various types of rock arts found in both countries, how they differ from region to region and how they have evolved over time.

The India-China Rock Art exhibition-cum-workshop has been brought to the Capital by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), in collaboration with Administration Office of Helan Shan Rock Art in China’s Yinchuan and Rock Art Research Association of China. The exhibition shows how India and China, right from the pre-historic times, have grown in parallel and shared cultural traits. It also points at how collaborative ventures between India and China in the field of rock art studies will open new horizons for cultural cooperation between the nations.

Rock art possess a large body of evidence for human artistic, cognitive and cultural beginnings. It is also a vital archaeological source to study and analyse the cognitive evolution of human intellect across the world. The IGNCA has conceived a major academic programme that relates to exploring artistic manifestations emanating from man’s primary sense perceptions.

The exhibition shows how the rock art repertoire of China is closely linked to ancient Chinese tradition and spiritual life and since China has a long tradition of written history, connections can be made with surety. The displays have been divided according to various geographical regions and it is interesting to see how the art changes according to its location.

The Indian section is also divided by geography, with central India having the largest concentration of rock art. The exhibition also has a section showcasing the living art traditions in India by focusing on three communities — the lanjia sauras of Odisha, rathwa bhils of Gujarat and warlis of Maharashtra — to showcase the continuity of these artistic tradition in modern India.

The IGNCA had earlier organised an exhibition on Indian rock art at the World Rock Art Museum at Yinchuan, China in 2014. In reciprocation, Chinese scholars/institutions have come to the city to participate in the India-China rock art exhibition-cum-workshop and special lectures series. The exhibition is on till March 27.

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