Artist committed to preserving Kangra miniature art , one brushstroke at a time : The Tribune India

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Artist committed to preserving Kangra miniature art , one brushstroke at a time

Artist committed to preserving Kangra miniature art , one brushstroke at a time

Dhani Ram working on one of his Kangra paintings.



Raghav Guleria

Dharamsala, March 12

Decorated with several awards such as the Kalidas Sammaan and the Himachal Excellency Award, Dhani Ram, a resident of village Dhugiari in Kangra district, has risen to become one of the most sought-after artists of the region.

His mission to promote the art of Kangra miniature paintings has brought him much appreciation, and state and national accolades. Drawing inspiration from his father Munshi Ram, Dhani Ram decided to pursue the ancient art form as a hobby.

As nothing is difficult to a willing heart, Ram met Chandu Lal Raina, an established artist in the Pahari miniature painting style.

“It was 1988 when I first met Guruji at a workshop on Guru Shishya Parampara conducted by the Language and Culture Department of the state. Coming from a family of marginal farmers, I had absolutely no knowledge of this divine art form. I had my own fears and reservations, but with a firm conviction, I started with the basics and the journey began,” reminisced Dhani Ram, taking a nip at times bygone.

The artist has groomed himself through sheer hard work and perseverance cultivated over three decades. He learnt the fundamentals of this once-popular but now-dying art that emerged in the hills at the onset of the 18th century.

To hone his skills further, and learn the finer intricacies of this art, he found another mentor in Vijay Sharma, a Padma Shri recipient, considered to be one of the most renowned miniature artists of the current times.

Today, Dhani Ram is no stranger to the art circles of the state. His paintings have been gifted as mementos to various dignitaries. He has perfected the intricacies of lines and brilliance of colours, which the Kangra painting style is all about.

Dedicated to the conservation and promotion of the art form, Dhani Ram has imparted the knowledge of this art to over 300 students.

“My whole life is dedicated to Kangra paintings and the time is not far when there would be revival of the golden age in Kangra paintings,” he said. His passion has resulted in the creation of the Ram Art Gallery — a space dedicated to Kangra miniature paintings.

#Dharamsala #Kangra


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