The belief in ‘society’s grasp of its past becomes a source of creativity in the present’, informs the philosophical basis of Rajendar Tiku’s practice as a contemporary sculptor.
The winner of Alit Kala Academy’s National Award and the international Triennial Award, Rajendar Tiku, is one of the eminent artists of the country who ‘perceives images, shapes and symbols that seem to usher, technical, intellectual, aesthetic and philosophical human endeavors into the realm of the universal’.
Born in Wadwan, Kashmir, Rajendar Tiku, since his appointment as faculty member in Institute of Music and Fine Arts in 1979, is living in Jammu. Apart from being a leading contemporary sculptor, he in his role as an artist teacher has also been almost single-handedly responsible for catapulting Jammu as one well known centers of contemporary sculpture in the country.
Rajendar Tiku made his mark on the national art scene in late 1980’s when his sculptures received admiration for the creative integration of different media like terracotta, wood and stone in compositions that in addition also displayed accomplishment in the manipulation of surfaces and textures.
Mainly inspired from the wayside shrines of Duggar, baolies, mohras, and sculptures besmeared with vermilion and black, he created a body of reliefs and three-dimensional works which along with calligraphic and pictographic markings engraved on the surfaces, emerged as syncratic talismans with a distinctive morphology.
One who specializes in monumental and out-door sculptures, it is his endeavor ‘to bring out in a tangible form the seemingly intangible aspects of silent and sacred and shapes ranging from mundane ones located in our immediate surroundings to visual grandeur of monuments located in the trajectory of the timeless’.
He ‘perceives images, shapes and symbols that seem to usher, technical, intellectual, aesthetic and philosophical human endeavors into the realm of the universal’.
For Rajendar Tiku, ‘the phenomenon of the past and the present as a continuum where lines of distinction between historical memories and personal experience blur, if not disappear that we realize an internal source which energizes us to flow on and be a part and parcel of a larger cultural gamut’.
From the small sculptures and reliefs which demand special display spaces to the sphere of open air monumental stone sculptures, Rajendar Tiku’s dexterity in handling material makes him a true inheritor of the great legacy of the art of sculpture; one of the high water marks of our cultural achievements.
His works like the one shown here titled ‘Sanctuary for a Tablet’, is a project ‘that envisages giving an expression to silent and sacred within the format and ambit of contemporary sculpture and try to find and establish its relative dynamics vis-à-vis a particular surrounding, environment and space. In this act he tries to materialize those spatial and plastic relationships, which are fuelled with energy to transport us beyond the particularity of the structure, the physicality of the medium and situational framework into an area where the environment of our aspirations is not only realized but also enhanced. This phenomenon in turn may relieve us of our direct, physical or visual bonding with a work of sculpture ands even while standing within its space allow us to generate our freely expanding aspirational space’.
One who is a regular participants in the sculpture symposia and workshops organized in different parts of the nation and in countries like Switzerland, Israel, Russia, Egypt, Russia and Thailand, just to name a few, Rajendar Tiku, has the advantage of locating his own distinct creative expression within the global scenario of the practice of contemporary sculpture.
One who believes in the potential of sculpture to induce, generate and establish emotive and psychological relationships, Rajendar Tiku as a practicing sculptor considers ‘sculpture as a larger phenomenon, of which a medium, its execution and dimension etc. is only a part. The lot more beyond these attributes is its potential to reveal truth: Its potential to work on us in return and impart meaning to our existence’.