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Bhopal, MP is an examination of a museum in Bhopal designed by the architect Charles Correa in the early 80s that was the first to have folk art and tribal art on equal footing with contemporary modern art. The founder and director of the museum was the well-known Indian artist Jagdish Swaminathan who also championed outsider and tribal artists.
My book project triagulates between Correa's attempt to make a different architecture from the Corbusian model—around the idea of courtyards and open-air spaces—and the art of Janghar Singh Shyam (a tribal artist considered by many to be an exceptional contemporary artist) and the language drawings of the Korwa tribals. Swaminathan's spirite advocacy for this folk and tribal art is key.
I had also hoped to find a modest book on the Korwa drawings publised by Swaminathan in Bhopal. Surprisingly, it was unavailable even in the Bharat Bhavan library. They did have a copy of another book on the Bharat Bhavan collection assembled by Swaminathan, which they xeroxed for me.
When I returned to New York, I found copies of both these extraordinary books in a library in New York and was able to scan them. The interplay between the low-resolution xerox copy made in Bhopal and the high-resolution scan made in New York was how I began to make this artist book. I included the complete text of three essays by Swaminathan to give full reign to his evocative and incisive voice. —Pradeep Dalal