Art to help you embark on inward trail of enlightenment

 Art to help you embark on inward trail of enlightenment

Guru Swaroopam by Jai Khanna

Team L&M

Astute in his beliefs, surreal in his inspirations and spiritual in his art, artist Jai Khanna presents his solo exhibition Inward Trail. Curated by Promila Bahri and presented by Art Magnum, the show has 21 artworks which the artist made through 2021 and 2022. Two of the 21 artworks are dedicated to Lord Krishna.

The Twenty Four Trees
The Twenty Four Trees  

True to its title, the artist’s works take you on an inward trail of enlightenment as you deep dive into your heart watching these. Shesha Nag is a major part of the show, explaining which Khanna says that he paints what he sees in his dreams.

Celebrating Shikar ji 

So, the artworks in Inward Trail are a result of the dreams he saw following a series of pilgrimages to places like Palitana, Girnar, Shikar ji with Sravenbelagola. Some artworks, like those of Shesh Nag are a result of mystic dreams in which he sees vivid creatures. “The visuals I see in my dreams and the energy I experience when in a dream gets depicted on the paper, thin boards and cloth,” he says.

Advent of Shantinath

But dreams is just the beginning from where Khanna’s journey into art delves deep resulting in conceptualisation of various forms/patterns/events/festivals where God can be seen and celebrated.

Throne of Parshwanath

In this solo show, Khanna also celebrates Jainism, and his deep, spiritual connection with it can be seen emerging in several small parts in a number of his works. His experiments with Jainism and its message of looking at life from a simple vantage of ‘live and let live’ (ahimsa), stems from an unflinching belief in the presence of a Higher Self or soul, that is endowed with the qualities of Siddha, Buddha, and Mukti. The tranquil demeanour of the Tirthankaras in his works, inspires one to unveil these very qualities in self, taking one closer to discovering “Who Am I?”

Glory of Parshwanath – the magical forest of Shikar ji

The serpent hood, on Tirthankara Parsvanatha, depicted by the artist also confirms the state of his soul. This symbolism denotes the power and strength of the soul in the face of calamity, termed upsarg in Jain philosophy. It also destroys the myth about the interdependence of the soul and karma.

“The sole inspiration of my foray into the world of art is my Guru,” says the Delhi-based artist, adding that it was his Guru who wanted him to glorify the pastimes of Shri Nath ji. “The fact that I have grown up in the spiritual presence of Shri Nath ji is what helped me gain a very personal and experiential understanding of the divine which you see in my works,” he says.

Evolution of Shikarji (end)

For the spiritualist, Jai Khanna’s solo show offers a chance to follow your own inner trail, and for a common observer, the show is all about beauty of perfection.

The show is on till February 26 (11am to 7pm), at Bikaner House, New Delhi



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