In the Path of the Sun and the Moon
Jaipur, Rajasthan, Inde, India
A contemporary yet traditional public art project in Jaipur(From press release - Jan 20th, 2006) On Saturday, 21st January 2006 at 2:45 pm the Hon'ble Chief Minister Shrimati Vasundhara Raje, in the presence of the French Ambassador to India His Excellency M Dominique Girard, will inaugurate a public art installation for the people of Jaipur in Central Park near Birla Auditorium. This impressive work of international partnership, goodwill and cooperation promises to become a landmark for Jaipur across the world, reinforcing the city's reputation as a unique centre of creative enterprise, artistry and craft.
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In the Path of the Sun & the Moon: Universal Being is an extraordinary project of international importance, sponsored by TAB INDIA-India's largest natural stone processing company, based in Jaipur. Initiated by the Friends of Jaipur Trust, Paris (Les Amis de Jaipur) and Jaipur Virasat Foundation (JVF), the project has come about through the support and engagement of the Rajasthan Government, the Regional Government of Champagne-Ardenne, France, the Indian Institute of Crafts & Design (IICD), the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), and the Jaipur Development Authority. All have contributed to the successful execution of this unique public work of art.
To manage the project, a memorandum of understanding was signed in the presence of the Chief Minister of Rajasthan in 2005 between the Institute of Craft and Design and JVF. The entire project has been filmed from its beginning days for the French Public Television Channel 3 network and will thus bring international exposure to the city of Jaipur as a dynamic destination. for culture and crafts. Installations of the internationally renowned French sculptor, Christian Lapie, who has donated this prestigious public art project, already exist as permanent works in Japan, Switzerland, Africa, Germany, France and Canada. The project, through art and craftsmanship, links Jaipur to the world. Inspired by the tradition of the Jantar Mantar, the installation consists of two site-specific works that are interlinked in their positioning. One of the sites - to be installed in the next few days - is to the north of historic Jaipur on a small island in Jal Mahal. The second is the site of the inauguration - a mound in Central Park to the south of historic Jaipur. The thirteen tall and splendid figures at Central Park represent the constellation of Capricorn and the winter solstice, while the two figure installation at Jal Mahal represents the sun and moon and day and night. Lapie, assisted by local designer and artist Samiir Wheaton, local stone carvers and the Tab India engineering team, and facilitated by the IICD, has created the installations with stone from Bheslana marble, Karoli sandstone, and Bijolia - a hard granite-like sandstone used mostly in construction. The installations thus promote the extraordinary range and wealth of stone available in Rajasthan.
Students of IICD have been closely involved in the project from the beginning of execution. The sculptures have been cut and carved on the premises of IICD enabling the students to work with the sculptor and traditional craftspeople and experience hands on what it is to carve and shape stone. The students have worked with one of India's leading exhibition design teams, Aditi Daswani and Benoy T. to design a world class exhibition on site that explains the work, its processes and significance and can be seen at the Central Park site for a week after the inauguration. Like universal human beings, the sculptures appear to question us and watch over us as our guardians, placid and immutable. They include us in the specifics of Jaipur's landscape, its memory, its history and its future position in the newly emerging India, linked to the world. The project is unique in that it positions Jaipur globally not only as a centre for traditional arts and crafts and Vedic sciences but also as a dynamic hub of contemporary creative activity. All are welcome to attend the inaugural function in the park and to enjoy the concert that follows the inaugural function with noted Jaipur musicians, Pt Hariharan Sharan Shastri and Smt Suman Yadav, supported by the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan.
The photomontage was prepared with models made in the workshop. They represent the constellation of Capricorn, at the moment of winter solstices. It symbolises changing seasons and passing years, to the north and south of the city. Following the tradition of the Jantar Mantar, the passage of time is marked by shadows sliding over the marble with extreme precision, to the second. Hence this project will mark each year the passage from winter to summer and from summer to winter.
À partir de maquettes réalisées à l'atelier, les photomontages reprennent le plan de la constellation du Capricorne. Le signe du capricorne marque le solstice d'hiver et le passage vers l'été, ainsi le rythme des saisons et des années sont symbolisés au nord et au sud de la ville. Dans la tradition du Jantar Mantar le temps qui passe est marqué par l'ombre qui glisse le long du marbre avec une précision à la seconde. Ce projet rythmera le temps annuel avec deux oscillations : le passage de l'hiver à l'été et de l'été à l'hiver. Afin d'appuyer cette présence du cosmos, et pour la première fois, j'ai abandonné le bois. J'ai ainsi sélectionné pour ce projet le granit, le grès, et le marbre, matériaux constituants de notre planète et de notre univers et qui par leur diversité font également la richesse, le caractère du paysage et l'architecture du Rajasthan. D'autre part, les neuf planètes symboliques en Inde ont leur nom gravé en hindi dans la pierre de Bijolia (série des temples) ou sur les rochers de granit.
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Cette œuvre a été financée par l'important exportateur de pierres Tab India, Mr Sumit Gupta. Avec le soutien de : Jaipur Virasat Foundation (JVF), Les Amis de Jaipur à Paris, l'engagement du gouvernement du Rajasthan, la Région Champagne-Ardenne (France), the Indian Institute of Crafts & Design (IICD), the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), et the Jaipur Development Authority. Ce projet a été rendu possible grâce au travail de Samiir Wheaton Designer, une équipe de tailleurs de pierre de Samode et l'équipe d'ingénieurs de Tab India et l'espace mis à disposition par IICD.