Spotlight: Vipul Kumar

“I am from Sitamarhi, Bihar.  As a child, I was fascinated with all the idols involved in Durga Puja.  I tried to copy the artists who created these idols at home.  Lack of knowledge about the technicalities would lead to failure every time.  I was very disappointed.  But I kept on trying.  I used to get scolded at school and at home.  I showed no interest in studies.  I had no inkling towards any kind of sport.  Even the teachers at school understood that.  So instead of playing, I would draw or write on the walls.  This is how my interest in art began at a very early age.  After matriculation, I headed straight for Benares Hindu University. I did not know there was a Patna College of Art and had no knowledge of Shanti Niketan.

It took me two years to gain entry into the university.  It was very tough initially. On the advice of my seniors, I went into Applied Arts.  Within a month I knew, I would not be able to do it. Copying was not my cup of tea. The only other seat available at that time was in the Sculpture department.  I took it. This is where I did stone carving for the first time. I did not like it. I decided to not pursue it further. I focussed primarily on metal casting at the time. Somehow over a period of time, I started to carve more and it got more intriguing for me.  I also got more appreciation for my stone carving works. Working on the aspect of spirituality, I created a series of works titled Buddhatva. For me, it was an important milestone in my journey. Gehre Paani Peth which was influenced by the teachings of Kabir is another work I am proud of.

Delhi was my destination after finishing my studies. Samarpan was another important piece of work I created during my early days in Delhi. This too had its links with spirituality but a little more subtle. I then moved to Jaipur.  These were darkest years of my creative life.  For three years I had no link with creativity or the creative process. I just created commercial works and statues. I felt I wasted precious years of my life. I somehow managed to get out of the rut and moved to a place called Bheslana. It was not that fruitful.  I was feeling chained and stifled creatively as the studio space was not my own.  In 2007, I somehow managed to buy my own piece of land there. This is also the time I started my experimentation with ceramics. I created a series of works titled 12 Raashi.  I also received a national award for it.

It has taken a lot of hard work and disappointments to reach where I am today. The Indian Ceramics Triennale has been very positive for me and my works. I am having a solo show with Gallery Threshold currently. I hope to work on newer and fresher ideas and continue my practice. The journey goes on.”