The Hands of Imagination


The Hands of Imagination

*Anu Munshi-Khandhar

There is a place,
where songs are never sung,
tunes are never hummed,
and words are never written.
In this place mouths are not for speaking
and you cannot hear it with your ears.
This place has no name
nor smells or sounds.
You cannot see this place with the human eye.
This place is made from feelings.
It is hopes, visions, ideas, and dreams.
It is constructed by imagination.
It is imagination.
You can only see this place with your heart.
~ Tate DeCaro
Video/Slide Show - Paintings of Kamal Nain Bhan

Imagination is just the blessing that was granted to Kamal Nain Bhan when he was born in the vale of Kashmir in 1963. From his early childhood, his parents knew that Kamal had a special gift – the gift of creating landscapes and life with just the stroke of a brush. Kamal was born into a family that would encourage music, arts and love for creativity for generations to come. Born to music enthusiasts, Autar Krishen and Krishna Bhan (Karwani), Kamal was raised in Habba Kadal just like any other Kashmiri child. As he grew up, a grave realization of his inability to hear or talk alarmed everyone initially. Kamal, however, showed his family that he could communicate. With a pen or brush in hand, he was able to speak so much through his art that it actually left everyone else speechless!

Over the years, Kamal would evolve into an abstract art pioneer from the valley of Kashmir. His initial schooling was done in Delhi (Lady Noyce School for Deaf) and Mumbai (Nancy Dessas School for Deaf and Aphasic) and he later trained at the Institure of Music and Fine Arts (IMFA) in Srinagar. Kamal went on to portray his life’s experiences with different colors. He is especially devoted to his motherland of Kashmir and one can easily see glimpses of that in his art. Whether it was the beauty of the land or the anguish of leaving his home, Kamal is able to convey a message as beautifully as only an abstract artist can. His paintings, “Driven Out” and “Paradise Lost” are the best examples of such work.

Kamal has collections in numerous places varying from the Lalit Kala Academy in New Delhi to The Nehru Art Centre in Worli, Mumbai. He has won just as many awards and accolade for his paintings (see below). He has participated in solo and group shows throughout India and continues to encourage creativity and art via camps and coaching.

Kamal Bhan currently lives with his parents, wife, Madhu Bhan, and two children in Jammu. He works out of his art studio in Anand Nagar.
If you are interested in sponsoring an art exhibition of Kamal Nain Bhan in your city in India, USA, etc. or in purchasing his art, please feel free to contact:
1) Anu Munshi-Khandhar (USA) –
2) Kamal Nain Bhan (Jammu) –, (+91) 191 2552416
3) Namrata Bakshi (Mumbai) – (+91) 9820136406

Kamal being greeted at his exhibition by Mahesh Bhat and Javed Akhtar
Interview with the Artist…

Shehjar: Kamalji, when did you first realize you are an artist?
KB: I knew that there was something in me that wanted to express my emotions and my appreciation of all that surrounded me. You could say that the paint that oozed out of the brush was like words flowing from my mouth. Once I was admitted in the school of fine arts, I could see many budding artists around me that also encouraged an interest in me to paint. The fluency of my brush gave me awareness that I could be a good artist.

Shehjar: Could you tell us a little bit about your work?
KB: I have throughout concentrated on landscapes with watercolor, but I also paint on canvas and draw portraits. My art is fully concentrated on landscapes because of the surroundings where I was brought up in the vale of Kashmir.

Shehjar: What is it that has inspired you to paint a particular subject?
KB: As already said above that I was brought up in the surroundings of beautiful valley of Kashmir. That created enormous interest in me to draw landscape in particular.

Shehjar: What famous artists have influenced you?
KB: I have been highly inspired by the works of Picasso and my contemporary Mr. Himmat Shah.

Shehjar: What inspires you to create art and how do you keep motivated when things get tough in the studio?
KB: To draw is my natural instinct whenever I have a tough time either in my life or in my studio. My family stands behind me, they give inspiration to draw.

Shehjar: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
KB: Well! If we talk of the past ten years, these years have been agonizing for me and my family due to my forced separation from my native home, Kashmir. I have been provided with all the comforts here in Jammu and yet I long to go to my native place Kashmir where from I was drawn out at the point of gun.

At present I am fully occupied with my professional work of painting and also I am greatly involved in the upliftment of my deaf and dumb fraternity who have elected me as their president. I never lose any opportunity to serve my fraternity who need regular guidance and encouragement. I hope to continue producing art that uplifts and encourages the younger generation and expresses my thoughts and feelings of the moment.


Painting : Driven Out

Solo Exhibitions

  1. Oberoi Palace, Srinagar 1986
  2. Hotel Broadway, Srinagar,1986
  3. Tagore hall, Srinagar,1989
  4. ANZ Grindlays Bank, New Delhi,in 97
  5. Nehru Art Center, Mumbai 2002
  6. Hotel IIC, 2002

Group Exhibitions

  1. Individuals, Jammu, 1992
  2. AMML, Jammu, 1999
  3. Art today, New Delhi 1998
  4. Kala Kendra, Jammu, 2006
  5. Subha Art Gallery, Jammu,2007
  6. Art exhibition by NLCC, Srinagar
  7. All India Art Exhibition by LKA Lucknow
  8. Drawing Exhibition by Rajasthan LKA
  9. National Exhibition by LKA New Delhi
  10. Art Exhibition by IAFA, Amritsar


  1. All India Painter’s Camp Manasbal, Kashmir by J&K State Academy, 1989
  2. All India Painter’s Camp, Jammu by J&K State Academy, 1989
  3. National Painters Camp at Sudh Mahadev, Jammu, 1993
  4. Art Today, New Delhi, 1998
  5. AIFACS National Camp Rajasthan, 2003
  6. LKA Regional Painter Camp at Dehradun, 2004
  7. AIFACS Senior Artists Camp (Amrit Kala Kumb) - Amritsar, 2004


  1. flights destination linkLalit Kala Academy, New Delhi
  2. Raj Bhawan, Jammu.
  3. TATA, New Delhi
  4. Heart Care Foundation of India
  5. Juneja Art Gallery, Janipur
  6. SAMHITA, Chennai
  7. Nehru Art Centre at Worli Mumbai.
  8. J&K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages
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