The Hindustan Times
YEARS Madhu Jain was content with experimenting in oils and acrylics.
Till she went to Japan in 1994 and learnt about the eco-friendly medium
of Nihonga, a traditional style of painting that involves the use
of rock mineral pigments, derived from natural minerals, shells, corals
and even semi-precious stones like garnet and pearl, on handmade paper.
There are nearly 1500 rock powdeers used in Japan," says Jain,
whose exhibition of paintings, ~Pathar Ke Rangon Se, is on at the
Habiart gallery, IHC till April 25, " and is among the most popular
mediums among the Japanese contemporary artists." Reveals Jain,
this technique went from India to Japan, via China in the 6th Century.
But Jain's imagery remains quintessentially Indian, and that too from Rajasthan. "Since I belong to Rajasthan," says Jain, "forts, camels, village belles in their colorful dresses are some recurring images in my paintings. There are so many colors in the Nihonga palette that they are perfect to depict the kaleidoscope that is Rajasthan. This is a real cross cultural exposition. "
recognition of her extraordinary work, in September 2002, to commemorate
50 years of Indo-Japanese relations, the Japan Foundation organised
a solo exhibition of her paintings in Tokyo. Jain also creates artificial
bonsai arrangements out of silk, beads, berries, and wire. "they
have an everlasting about them," says Jain. Like the rocks that
are powdered for the Nihonga paintings.