Belgium museum displays Indian spiritual art

Belgium museum displays Indian spiritual art

Work provides solace to art aficionados at art fair

Belgium museum displays Indian spiritual art

Amid the confusion between traditional and modern art, a visitor’s mind seeks solace in the spiritual form. The works at the booth of Museum of Sacred Art (MOSA) from Belgium, at the ongoing India Art Fair at NSIC Exhibition Grounds, Delhi, is therefore of significance.

Though at present the museum is exhibiting only one of its shows “Forms of Devotion: The Spiritual in Indian Art,” it has a collection of 1,800 works on Indian spirituality that are ready to be exhibited once the museum is in place.

“We are working towards having a museum, but we have a gallery in Belgium where some of these works are exhibited,” says Martin Gurvich, director of MOSA.

What intrigues a visitor at this stall, more than the display of aesthetically beautiful artworks, is the reason why Gurvich decided to set up a museum of Indian spiritual art in the heart of Western Europe. 

“Since my father was an artist, I could connect to art in my childhood but never got a spiritual atmosphere at home. I was 19 years old when I became interested in spirituality, and Buddhism and Hinduism attracted me,” says Gurvich, who is today a follower of Gaudiya/Chaitanya Vaishnav tradition, prominent in West Bengal and Odisha.

It didn’t take him long to connect with the spiritual in visual art and he started researching on the same. The director said: “In 2007, we decided to work on a small art project with the theme of Hindu traditional art. The first piece that I bought was a miniature devotional piece by renowned artist B G Sharma from Rajasthan.” 

He soon met curator Sushma K Bahl who further helped him increase his collection for the museum. “We have a community collective in Belgium, of which the gallery is a part. Around 50,000 people from across the world, including a lot of Indians, visit the gallery every year,” he says as one looks at MOSA’s website pictures and finds their gallery as a look-alike of a Lord Krishna temple.

“In India, fairly smaller number of people visit art shows as compared to Europe. It is through spirituality that we want to heighten the interest of people in art here,” he added, hinting about the exhibition of 350 works that his community is planning to bring to Lalit Kala Akademy in March this year.  

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