Friday, February 12, 2010

The state of creativity in India

I feel that the creative process of deriving a theme in any form of expression is weak in india today, (Be it in architecture, cinema, novel, animation etc.) All art seems to be driven towards base emotions and immediate realities. There is very little scope for Imagination, alternative realities, the future, alternative pasts and  impossible situations.

Mental gymnastics is not something we see explored in indian visual arts.
The unbreakable bond between an artist and his homeland is
a very long lasting one. But if he has to carry that baggage every where he goes he will forever remain an "ethnic" designer. Indian artists have  been anchored by un-written rules and traditions.

We seem to carry this label every where we go. It is important to cultivate a trend that depicts as broad an international flavour as possible, in order to appeal to every one who sees our work. I will draw the example of The Yas Marina Hotel built over the F1 circuit in Abu Dhabi which i recently visited.

The theme and general design was concieved by an Arab American designer. The final out-come was truly international. With vague hints of an abaya clad feminine organic form lying sensually over the F1 circuit. Now that is great engineering with form. Truly inspirational. Truly functional. The arab element is so subtle that they are not obvious to the casual observer. Yet it is there.

This depth did exist during the early period of indian art and literature and architecture.

Mahabharat and Ramayan are great example of  fantasy, imagination, sub-plots and complex textures.

J.R. Tolkien lived in the 1900s, and he was able to create something that comes close to the depth and creative excellence of the Mahabharath. Why has there never been any great epics from the so-called land of the story tellers and epics. I guess somwehere down the line, we indians ceased to be "those indians".

For a nation with over 200 million middle class, educated, literate people, we have a very low creative output.

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