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Chapter 3: Masterpieces of Indian Art: Bindu by S. H. Raza

Updated: Dec 11, 2022

The ‘Bindu’

The 'Bindu' is the most distinctive symbol of master artist S.H. Raza, appearing in many of his artworks created over the last three decades of his life. The Bindu first appeared in Raza's works in 1980, and it represented the painter's newly discovered vision and interest in Indian ethnography.

Bindu by S.H. Raza

The perception of ‘Bindu’

According to Raza, the Bindu is the source of all life and energy.

He saw it as the center of all creation. Here is where life begins and ends.

In the decades that followed Bindu's introduction, Raza expanded on his thematic repertoire and emphasized a variety of metaphysical notions.

Here, the black circle represents the "beej," or seed, which is the origin of creation.

The beej is positioned between the faint lines that repeatedly form inverted triangles to represent the womb, a symbol of female fertility that evokes the emergence of a plant from a seed.

The birth of ‘Bindu’

Raza visited India frequently in the 1970s, while still residing in France, he visited the Ajanta-Ellora caves, Banaras, and sites in Gujarat and Rajasthan. His excursions to these locations piqued his interest in Indian culture, and he wished to play a larger part in introducing it to the rest of the globe. That's when the 'Bindu' was born, heralding Raza's rebirth as a painter.

S.H. Raza: An Authentic artist in his own right

Sayed Haider Raza or S.H. Raza is one of India’s most celebrated artists. Raza was essential in forging a distinct modernist identity for Indian art, along with other recognized masters such as M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, and Akbar Padamsee

From 1950 to 1953, Raza studied painting at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and he and his wife, the French artist Janine Mongillat, remained there for many more years. Later, he relocated to New Delhi, India, where he painted for many hours every day until he was 90.

S.H. Raza has received the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan from the Government of India for his important contribution to Indian art.

In July 2015, Raza was also granted the highest French civilian honor, the 'Legion of Honour.'

Depicted above is the painting, The Bindu Akash, one more variant of the famous Bindu paintings. It is no different from other paintings in that it symbolizes a message and conveys its authenticity via various brushstrokes and hues.

If you're wondering why the geometric illusion is there and what the purpose of this spectacular design is, Raza has a dynamic strategy in mind.

Nothing less than the entirety of the universe and the constituent parts that make it up have been supplied through his masterwork.

Bindu Akash is a perfect example of the value of living simply. In a nutshell, this is the meaning of life. One can discover the significance of each Bindu as one walks through the various aspects of this painting.

The Description of the Painting

A fundamental and huge black Bindu rests in the painting's center background.

This black Bindu represents the focus of all energy and creativity. Furthermore, the four colorful portions around the Bindu reflect the four basic components of nature: Akash, Agni, Bhoomi, and Jala, and their equal divisions represent their collective balance in nature.

Life unfolds and reveals its mysteries in the same manner that the cosmos always finds and works to balance all elements.

According to Raza, all hues merge into or are connected to become black. The five colors can be thought about, but they eventually fade into what appears to be nothingness. Here, the five various colored Bindu's that the larger black Bindu encircles reveal two of many possible meanings.

First, each of the colored Bindu stands for one of the five pillars of existence, while the representations of each one in a circle stand for a fully developed, harmonious individual. Second, the Bindus encased within the larger black Bindu signifies that all of these combined comprise the cosmos.

The Essence of the Bindu artworks

As one focuses on the paintings more intently, one can understand the artwork's inventiveness and let it generate many universe-related ideas for them.

By encapsulating the essence, this artwork not only gives existence purpose but also induces a feeling of serenity in any environment.

Author and Editor: Priya Bhushan

1 Comment

Aviral Chaurasia
Aviral Chaurasia
Dec 08, 2022


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