Publication: The Times of India
Various organizations in the city are paying tributes to Nek Chand by way of art, something that he is identified with, despite being an untrained artist. Through paintings, film screenings and more, groups and academies are remembering the most loved artist of the city.
Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi, which inaugurated a workshop in art on June 16, has artists from the city and Punjab coming together to pay tributes to Rock Garden creator by creating work in his own style. Fourteen artists are creating paintings, sculptures and murals to make Nek Chand stay in the memories of city\’s residents forever.
On Thursday, a memorial meeting will be organized by Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi at Government Museum and Art Gallery in Sector10, where video footage of interviews with Nek Chand will be screened for the public.
In 1976, Nek Chand\’s \’secret\’ Rock Garden was officially opened to public view. Awarded the Padma Shri in 1983, with a postage stamp in his honour, Nek Chand has been feted by art lovers across the world. He was awarded the Grande Medaille de Vermeil in Paris, and commissioned by the director of the Children\’s Museum in Washington DC to construct a garden at the museum.
The Nek Chand Foundation, a registered charity, was formed in 1997 to support his work and raise awareness. Nek Chand\’s statues have found their way into museums across the world, including the American Folk Art Museum in New York City and the main entrance to the Collection de l\’art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin, US owns the largest collection of Chand\’s work outside of Chandigarh. The pieces were on exhibition there from June 2007 to January 2008 as part of the museum\’s focus on artist environment builders, or outsider artists. An exhibition of Nek Chand\’s work also took place at the RIBA gallery in Liverpool, England. The exhibition displayed survey drawings of the garden\’s architecture and landscaping. For his unflagging enthusiasm, his unbridled creativity and stupendous contribution to art, Nek Chand was conferred with the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi Honour in 2013.