When Guru Tegh Bahadur returned to Patna from Assam in 1670, his son Gobind Rai was three and half years old. In this painting, father and son meet for the first time, flanked by Mata Gujri, Gobind Singhji’s mother and maternal uncle Kirpal Chand, who experienced spiritual joy at this sweet re-union. The house at Patna in which Gobind Rai was born and where he spent his early childhood is exactly where Sri Patna Sahib Gurdwara was erected. (see above image).
Anup Chitrak’s creations are born out of a deep spiritual pursuit and he paints with faith and inspiration. The medium, colours, canvas are merely a means to an end. Inspired by the Sikh faith, the novelty of ‘Mera Gobind’ lies in the unique subject, dedicated exclusively to the Tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh ji. Held through the month of March 2014, in the heart of New Delhi, at AIFACS Gallery, Rafi Marg, ‘Mera Gobind’ was Gurgaonbased artist AS Chitrak’s labour of love, based on five years of exclusive dedication to the subject.
Following extensive research of the Granth Sahib and tomes on the Guru, besides submerging into the renditions from the Gurbani at dawn, the artist has produced huge canvases brought alive by rich colours portraying the life of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and the last Sikh Guru. Although not in chronological order, the artist has chosen to depict certain episodes of the Sikh Guru’s life to highlight his vision and philosophy.
Amongst the paintings whose highlights are impeccable expressions and vivid details, Chitrak illustrates important incidences in the tenth Guru’s life including his first meeting with his father Guru Tegh Bahadur on return from Assam after three and a half years; getting ready for Guru Gaddi; leaving Anandpur at midnight and his overall philosophy as a Sikh wherein he is depicted with a glowing calm and resolve on his face with his baaz (falcon) while his Panj Pyaare or the five beloved ones, representing five principles and a class and casteless society in Sikhism, are astride horses in the background.
Moreover, the artist shows them as the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and space, indicative of his huge bent towards religious philosophy. The Nishaan features an exclusive photo-essay of his evocative paintings with each of them expounded upon in some detail.
Nishaan I/2014 also published an interview with Anup S Chitrak (“I Paint my Dream”).