By Ayushi Agarwal
Leh (Ladakh) [India], August 23 (ANI): Artists from diverse backgrounds have congregated in the breathtaking expanse of Sā Ladakh to showcase their awe-inspiring creations at an exceptional art exhibition, situated at the highest elevation in South Asia. This remarkable event commenced on August 1, 2023.
Focusing on climate, culture and community, the artists have harnessed the transformative potential of their artworks to spread a crucial message to conserve our precious natural resources and to instigate a profound appreciation for nature, which has been grappling with dire climatic upheavals, including the ominous spectre of global warming.
The captivating site-specific art installations, cutting-edge video projections, and sculptures are being projected against the scenic Disko valley near Leh with Aritst’s delving into the interpretation of climate optimism.
Sā Ladakh is featuring works by Ladakhi, Indian, and international artists that include Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Phillip Frank, Sharbendu De, Jigmet Angmo, Vibha Galhotra, Skarma Sonam Tashi, Tsering Gurmet Kungyam, Sagardeep Singh and Tsering Motup.
Founded in 2023 by Tenzing ‘Jammy’ Jamyang, Raki Nikahetiya and Sagadeep Singh, sā Ladakh is a pioneering initiative that brings together artists, organizations, and communities to create South Asia’s highest contemporary land art exhibition at an astounding altitude of 3600m and which inspires dialogue, foster creative solutions, and empower individuals to become catalysts for change.
While speaking to ANI, Artist Vibha Galhotra who has been working in India and internationally has stressed the message of having an ‘equality’ between nature and the human being.
“I work between India and internationally. Here I am invited by Sā Ladakh as an artist to do a land art project because I keep showing my land art. This is a text-based work that is in continuation with work that I have done in other countries like Mongolia where I am talking about ownership. Ownership of land, earth, and water. But here seeing the situation from the last three years, as we are going through the climatic crisis. That has made me think that nature is always going to be there with or without us. This work is voice of the nature itself, which says that you are the traveller here and not me. That’s what the work is about,” she said.
“I always think that there should be equality between nature and the human. We have imbalanced the earth, so we need to create this balance and start living together”, she added.
While the other artist who is also a scholar and a writer, has been working on the climate concerns through his projections and showcases the narrative about people surging in the coming future rather than showing the physical catastrophic.
‘My primary medium is photography. But within its domain, I do more staged and constructive work. Over the last many years, I have been working on climatic concerns. So the work that I am showing here in Sā Ladakh is projections, said Sharbendu De.
“I speculate the kind of future we might be cohabiting in the wake of the global climate crisis. So rather than showing the physical catastrophic visuals, my narrative is about people surviving the coming near future”, he added.
On August 23rd, which also marks the closing event of Sā Ladakh supported by the German Embassy, artists such as Philipp Frank from Germany, internationally known for his projections in nature, will be exploring connections between spirituality and the natural world.
Raki Nikahetiya, the co-founder of sā Ladakh, expressed their vision, stating, “Our primary focus will be on a 20-acre expanse of land, where we will delve into our interpretation of ‘climate optimism.’ Through the remarkable medium of land art, our aim is to foster an inclusive dialogue on climate-related issues, engaging and inspiring communities amidst the breathtaking yet delicate Himalayan landscape.”
As part of a series of workshops, students from the Islamia Public School in Leh participated voluntarily, gaining valuable exposure and developing a closer affinity to learning about climate change and the environment.
“Our children during the summer break had participated in the workshop. I was excited more than the children. It was all on a voluntary basis which collided with the summer breaks and lot of girls and boys were keen to participate. Ours was the first school to participate in”, said Stanzin Norzum, Principal of an Islamic public school while speaking to ANI.
“I am nowadays very happy that generations these days are keen in doing and coming to do something with the environment. For that, I am thankful to Sā Ladakh and local futures and they are coming and sensitising fruitful steps related to the environment and global warming which is very helpful. Environment is being affected in a wrong way, but if all of us partner together and get into things together, then today’s children too are very keen towards that”, she added.
The land art exhibition Sā Ladakh is Germany’s cultural contribution to India’s G20 presidency.(ANI)
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