Bhajju Shyam

In his pictorial stories of forest and cities, of man and beast, Bhajju Shyam’s brush takes us to those uncharted worlds of tribal imagination in which reality is only real when it is magical. Myths and folklore painted by Bhajju Shyam not only exude the enigma of the timelessness of the initial encounter between nature and man, but also manifest the path to see another reality; where life goes not in the direction of meaningfulness, but to the triumph of imagination.

During his visit to London Bhajju saw everything through the eyes of a Gond, a native of a village in the dense forest of Amarkantak central India. For Bhajju the London underground metro was like a giant snake running amok carrying people in its belly, while Big Ben turned into a big rooster, an organic morning alarm. Bhajju explains that his grandfather worked as peon to the famed British Indian missionary anthropologist, Verrier Elwin, who became the seminal link for western understanding of Indian tribes, adding “but now with the help of my painting I can also tell stories of the people”.  Bhajju Shyam has also illustrated around seven art books on different subjects ranging from trees, travelogues and creation myths. Narrating his story of becoming an artist Bhajju Shyam tells us that he started painting during his childhood to help his mother with decorative mural painting in the village of Patangarh where he born in 1971. Later he came to the city of Bhopal to find work. Initially he did scores of jobs like watchman, electrician, handyman, etc. He finally went to his uncle, legendary Gond artist Jangarh Singh Shyam, who encouraged him to paint. He was immediately attracted to the work as it reminded him of his childhood days when he used to paint on the walls of his native village. After some time he found the meeting point where his hands learned how to mold colors according to his imagination, and he started telling stories from Gond myths or from the present life of man and beast.

Today, living and working in the central city of Bhopal, Bhajju Shyam is a well-acclaimed Gond tribal artist who displays his work in national and international art shows. His work as a book illustrator is praised far and wide and he has received the Italian Bologna Ragazzi (children’s book award) for his collaborative fine art book “The Night Life of Trees”. In addition to this he has received several awards from his provincial state of Madhya Pradesh and the national government of India.

 

 



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Title:Hiran (Deer)
Artist:Bhajju Shyam
Year:2014
Medium:Acrylic & Ink on Paper
Size:15" x22"
Price:$850.00
Title:Do Bail (Two Ox)
Artist:Bhajju Shyam
Year:2014
Medium:Acrylic & Ink on Paper
Size:15" x 22"
Price:$850.00