SPOTLIGHT - Veer Munshi (with video on paintings)

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Veer Munshi

*Deepak Ganju

Veer Munshi: A Profile
Video- Language of paintings

Imagination is the most mysterious and interesting aspect of human beings. It connects our conscious with our subconscious and allows us to explore our inner self. Transforming expressions and feelings into a format that is not only a visual delight but also full of life are the qualifications of a successful artist. Veer Munshi is such an artists who creates intriguing images full of life and expression. An artist from Kashmir who has been able to show to the world through his canvas, the sufferings and pain of an exiled community.
Violence, terror and fear unleashed in Kashmir since the late 1980s had resulted in the displacement of almost the entire Kashmiri Hindu population from Kashmir valley. Veer Munshi has been able to transform his memories of forceful exodus from Kashmir into his paintings. In one of the exhibitions hosted by Art Alive Gallery in New Delhi titled "Encounter", veer featured his paintings and installations, articulating his own experience of leaving his home. This is what Madhur Tankha reported:" Evoking an ethereal landscape of lake and mountains through his canvas, Munshi confronts discerning art lovers with two figures -- one of the "common man", naked and vulnerable, and next to him a militiaman in camouflaged uniform. Standing beside each other and looking back towards the mountains, together they represent the conflicts, the violation of human rights and of denying people their freedom."
 Veer Munshi was born in 1955 at Srinagar, Kashmir, graduated from Kashmir University in 1976 and later mastered in art at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, one of the premier universities of India and known throughout Asia for the Faculty of Arts & Fine Arts. He is the recipient of the Jammu & Kashmir Award for Painting in 2001 and National Award from Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
 Currently living and working in Gurgaon, Haryana, Veer Munshi has participated in a number of group and solo exhibitions. His works have been exhibited not only in India but in different parts of the world as well. His work has been inspired not only by the political and social situation in India but also his own real life experiences. He has the ability to transform real life experiences into the language of paintings. His canvases present images which are intriguing. They cross average notions of reality and pass into a surreal realm.

Veer Munshi in Petra Jordan, November 2007


Veer Munshi is an ambassador of peace travelling throughout the world. Munshi says that his own sufferings has made him conscious of the feelings of all those people who are being forced to leave their homeland across the globe. When we contacted the artist, he was in Petra Jordan. He intends to go beyond the politics of Kashmir as he can relate to the mental torture and human sufferings of those unfortunate people who are forced out of their place of living.

Exhibitions, Awards, Participations
Solo Exhibitions
Art Alive, India Habitat Center New Delhi
Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai
Jehangir Art Gallery
Gallery Espace, New Delhi
E C Galleria, Edinbergh, Scotland
Gallery, Burswood, Perth, Australia
United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
AIFACS Gallery, New Delhi
Art Heritage Gallery, New Delhi
Planetarium Gallery, Baroda

2006 Presentation of works at World Social Form at Karachi Pakistan.
2005 Identity Alienation Amity: curated by Bina Sarkar at Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai
2005 Papyri:group show at Sarjan Gallery, Baroda
2005 Exploring new paradigms groupshow at art alive, New Delhi
2004 11th Asians Art Biennale, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2004 ‘Looking Back Looking Forward’ contemporary works by Baroda artist at Sarjan Art Gallery, Baroda
2003 India-Korea contemporary art exhibition at Kwang Hwa Moon Gallery, Seoul, Korea
2002 National Exhibition of Art, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
2002 Group show “similarities & dissimilarities” paintings organized by TAO art gallery, Mumbai
2002 All India artist show “ways of resistance” organized by Sahmat at Ravindra Bhawan, New Delhi
2001 All India painters Art camp’ Show and Auction in Dubai organized by CRY
1997 ‘End of Silence’ Travelling Show for AIDS
1995 All India drawing show at Chandigarh organized by Punjab Cultural Academy
1995 ‘Gandhi’ organized by Sahmat Travelling Show at New Delhi, Mumbai
1993 ‘Trembling Images of Kashmir’ at Vadhera Art Gallery, New Delhi
1993 All India Exhibition of Art at AIFACS, New Delhi
1992 Research Grant Fellowship Travelling show, Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi
Group Show at Indo-Soviet Cultural Centre, New Delhi
Silver Jubilee celebration show at Birla Academy in Kolkata
National Exhibition of Art, Lalit Kala Akademi
Artist against Communalism, New Delhi
IV Biennale, Bhopal

Art Workshops / Camp
2007 Cultural Trip to Turkey
2007 Art Camp in Kenya Masai Mara
2006 Cultural Trip to Mexico
2006 Cultural Trip to Morocco
2006 Art workshop at Cairo Egypt
2005 International artist workshop at Florence, Italy
2005 All India Painters Camp, Goa
2005 International Artists Workshop at Istambol, Turkey
2004 All India Painters Camp at J W Marriot, Mumbai
2004 Army and artist workshop at Baramulla, Kashmir
2004 Contemporary painters camp at Kodaikanal organised by India Art Center, Chennai
2004 Painting workshop at Singapore
2004 Art workshop at Amby valley, organized by UNDP and villege gallery for HIV awareness
2003 Art Workshop organized by NGO Udyan Care, New Delhi
2001 Installation Art Workshop, ‘Art on Move’ organized by Sahmat
2001 Art camp at Bangkok Thailand organized by Art Indus Gallery
2000 Art Workshop for underprivileged children organized by active NGO Deepalaya, New Delhi
1999 Artists camp at Ramganga, Jim Corbett organized by Sehar
1998 Art Workshop at Habitat Center for &ldquHelpa India”
1996 Presentation on Human Rights at United Nation Sub-Commission, Geneva, Switzerland
1996 ‘Art for Peace’ collaboration Army and Artist at Leh-Ladakh
1994 ‘Crucified-Community Art Project, Performance at New Delhi, and Mumbai
1993 Art Installation at Siri Fort, New Delhi

2002 National Award from Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi
2001 J & K State Award for painting
1997,999/ 2002 Best designed tableaux for Republic Day parade, New Delhi
1996-98 Junior Fellowship from Ministry of Culture, Government of India
1991-92 Research Grant Fellowship from Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi
2003 Film by K. Bikram Singh on ‘Veer Munshi’
2002 Film by Fayaz ‘Gashtaruq’ for Doordarshan
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