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Vijay Kochar

Biography
I am 72 years old from Hindu family of north India settled in Hyderabad. I believe that too rigid and narrow a commitment to one's own culture often leads to denial of, and antipathy to, other cultures/religions. I believe in a universal `religion of man-in-nature' that transcends the narrow limits of physical world (fragmented, distorted, and self-centred) into the world of sublime -- pervasive realm of beauty, love, social-good; and the energy of creation, progression and destruction. I was fond of painting from childhood. I was encouraged by famous artist Sudhir Khastagir to join Fine Arts College at Tagore's university at Santiniketan. But after three months I was shifted to graduate school due to family compulsions. While at Santiniketan from 1951 to 1957 first as a student and then as a schoolteacher, I was closely associated with Art and artists as a part-time student. I did many paintings and sculptures at the young age. Only few of those works remain with me now. I lost touch with art after entering a long academic career in social science. After studying literature (M.A., Visva Bharati) and anthropology (M.A., Ph.D. Lucknow University), I specialised in Medical Sociology abroad (D.Sc. Johns Hopkins University). I spent time whole-heartedly for research and teaching at five different universities including Johns Hopkins University and Howard University. I was in USA for 6 years and returned to Banaras Hindu University in 1976. I shifted to Central University, Hyderabad in 1979 wherefrom I retired as Professor of sociology in 1994. The highlight of my academic career was to study and promote the folk culture and practices of ordinary villagers - first in the field of health, hygiene and sanitation, and then in the field of forestry and watershed development. Understanding the richness and limitations of folk culture, and then facilitating development through active and direct participation of primary stakeholders, was my obsession. Getting back to my private world of fine art was a healing touch for my aging self. This time I learnt and tried my hand at digital imaging and stayed with it in the spirit of digital fine art. Exposure to the depth, variety and complexity of digital art today on the Internet is overwhelming. I am still learning and exploring the possibilities of the digital medium. I thoroughly enjoy what I am doing. It fills my life with a sense of fulfilment. Vijay Bhai http://www.Vijaybhai-digitalvisions.com
 
Statement
For someone who had close encounters with fine art at a young age, coming back to painting on full time basis is an enjoyable homecoming. Working with mouse in front of PC monitor is not the same thing as working with brush on canvas and physically mixing and applying colors. After initial trials and hesitations it was surprising to discover that digital medium of painting is no barrier to giving shape to images and ideas. Towards the end of my academic career I became familiar with MS-Paint and WinWord based graphic programmes. Between 1992 and 1996 I played with elementary graphic software. These were largely line-based drawings filled with shades of colour. From 1996 onward I started seriously creating compositions - largely in the mould of conventional fine art akin to Bengal school. Gradually I have improved and diversified my use of digital tools and created some 500 digital paintings so far. I like to play with colour, composition, design and effects. Some paintings take shape spontaneously in a limited number of sittings. Others take a lot of labour. With some 50 odd paintings first I exhibited at my studio VISIONS. In 2002 I held my first one-man show of about 70 odd paintings at DAIRA Centre for Art and Culture, Hyderabad. There were some reviews in the local papers and magazines (which can be seen on my website). I have the honour of placement on the personal web sites of a number of well-known digital artists. I was selected as a Guest Artist on the renowned website of Museum of Computer Art (MOCA). My work was selected for International Cyber-art Exhibition of 2003 at the Museum of Art Hawaii, U.S.A. I believe, art is not in the medium or tools; it is in the mind and heart - if it there, it will show. Those with artistic sense will judge the aesthetic appeal of creations and not worry what medium has been used. The artist and philosopher Larry Bloch said, "the goal of every artist is to become fluent enough with the media to transcend it. At some point you pass from playing the piano to playing music." An art critic, Jarvis, says "Art is not about the tools used to make it; but in the organization of color, line, form, composition, rhythm and the interplay of all these in support of the subject matter or intent of the work itself. These are the basic and well-established tenets of visual art." Vijay Bhai http://www.vijaybhai-digitalvisions.com
 
Exhibitions
 

Artist Information:
Name   : Vijay Kochar
Location: HYDERABAD  
  India
Vijay Kochar Artworks Page
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Vijay Kochar website
http://www.vijaybhai-digitalvisions.com

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