February 22 - March 7, 1999
A sense of beauty
For years, artist Madhu Jain worked with traditional oils, water, and acrylics. During a three-year-plus stay in Japan while her husband was posted at the Indian embassy in Tokyo, Jain got interested in the Japanese eco-friendly natural medium of Nihonga, which involves the use of rock pigments -- natural minerals, shells, corals, even semi-precious stones - which have some 1,500 colours. She studied Nihonga, Japanese, and the psyche of the people, and held several exhibitions of her work in Japan. This fortnight, Jain held an exhibition of her Japanese style paintings in New Delhi's Lalit Kala Academy, in which she used her native Rajasthan as the theme. "What amazes me about Japanese people is that, in spite of being so technologically advanced, they have not lost their sense of beauty nor their gracefulness," she says. People, she recalls, had asked her if Japan would be a cultural shock for her. "Instead," as she puts it, "I found a cultural home."