Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation (RF), is striving hard to ensure India’s age-old traditional Pichavai art form is preserved and promoted on an international scale. Last year RF supported the widely acclaimed and appreciated exhibition of Pichavai paintings. Having visited Nathdwara, Nita Ambani explained how the paintings will soon adorn the walls of the offices at Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), affiliate hospitals, and her Mumbai convention center.
A style preserved by painters who belong to Nathdwara in Rajasthan, Pichavai is the art form that adorns Krishna temples and also found in several Vaishnava homes. It is believed that the forefathers of these artists traveled to Nathdwara when Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharyaji created the Pushtimarg sect of Hinduism in 1672 A.D. to decorate the Shrinathji Temple.
The artists are famous for using vivid colors to depict the various moods of Lord Shrinathji. The paintings reflect his multiple forms ranging from his young self playing with the ‘gopis’ to his true divine nature. Having interacted with these artists, Nita Ambani explained how Pichavai art plays such an important role in India’s art heritage. She commended the artists and spoke highly of their ability to push through all the challenges in order to preserve one of the oldest living art forms in the world. She stated that her foundation is aiming to play a significant role in encouraging these artists and ensuring that the art form is not only recognized but also continued across several future generations.
Golden Opportunity for Nathdwara Artists
Paramanand Sharma is the Mukhiya of Artists at the Nathdwara Sansthan. She explained how the Pichavai artist community is struggling to overcome numerous obstacles in order to preserve the art form and keep it alive and active. She praised the efforts of Reliance Foundation and Nita Ambani for helping the ancient town to promote Pichavai art as well as create self-sustainable livelihood opportunities. She called Nita Ambani their beacon of light and thanked her for the support rendered to rise above certain challenges.
Reliance Foundation’s Role
Reliance Foundation strongly believes in promoting art, culture, and heritage and as part of this belief, the organization showcased Pichavai art in Chicago. The exhibition was titled ‘Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings’ and was held at the Art Institute of Chicago from September 2015 to early January 2016. This exhibition witnessed more than 100,000 visitors who gathered to watch these paintings that depict diverse aspects of Lord Krishna’s life.
Nita Ambani’s Flagship Museum
Nita Ambani stated that she intends on creating a museum of her own in Mumbai which will be spread across a 19-acre plot. She intends on creating a convention center that will not only house her own art collection but also allow international traveling shows to display collections in Mumbai.
Slated to open in 2018, the convention center is the culmination of Nita Ambani’s vision of encouraging and preserving diverse art forms.