NEW YORK CITY (TIP): The Consulate General of India, New York, hosted its Eighth Media-India Lecture Series 2014 – 2015 on the Civilizational Message of Indian Art by art historian, photographer and film-maker Benoy K Behl on October 17, 2014 at the Consulate Ballroom.
The lecture series is a monthly event where the Consulate invites prominent Indian experts to inform and spread awareness about issues related to India, its global image, aspirations and emerging role in the contemporary affairs. Mr. Behl spoke extensively about the intricate details of the paintings in the Ajanta caves in Maharashtra, and the historical significance of the level of skill in Indian art. Furthermore, he elaborated on the cultural role of the individual and how it reflected in ancient Indian art and architecture.
The Limca Book of Records, which records achievements in India, has estimated that in filming over 100 documentaries about Indian art history and sculpture, Behl covered over 160,000 km in India. Mr. Behl is also recognized as the most traveled photographer to document Indian art influences across the world in 2012. The lecture was attended by university students, members of the Indian-American media, scholars, academics and those interested in expanding their horizons on Indian art history, architecture and sculpture.
Following his address on the Ajanta Caves, Mr. Behl continued this discussion on Indian art and culture with Ms. Aroon Shivdasani, the executive director of the Indo-American Arts Culture. Mr. Behl showcased a small selection of his work of his work, which amasses to photography and filming of over 46,000 Indian artifacts. In his welcoming remarks, Consul General of India, New York, Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay described how the Consulate continues to make every effort to work as Champions in the promotion of Indian intellectual heritage, Art and Culture through various and appealed to everyone to join the endeavor.
He also informed the audience that Visa on Arrival for US citizens, as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his US visit, is in its implementation process, which will be officially announced soon. Benoy K Behl described how his visit to Ajanta caves in 1991 to photograph the ‘finest art’ changed his perspective as well as life. “Ajanta is the foundation of all Asian arts.
I found world of compassion in art of Ajanta. The compassionate art with its brilliant rendering of form and color gives the message of peace. It teaches you that joy and peace to be found within.” Behl, who has 45,000 photographs and many documentaries to his credit, also spoke on Buddhism. A snippet of his documentary ‘Indian roots of Tibetan Buddhism’ was shown. Aroon Shivdasani, Executive Director of Indo American Arts council moderated the event.