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unclassified - 29 04 2002 - 23:08 - katatonik

Death of an artist

Jangarh Singh Shyam was born in a small village in Madhya Pradesh, India. He belonged to the Gond tribe. He painted the walls of his village. Images. Art. In 1981, Mr. J Swaminathan of the Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal saw the paintings and was much delighted. Jangarh Singh Shyam was provided with new materials, and new colours, that he had never known, and was equally delighted. Jangarh Singh Shyam became well-known, inside India, outside India. He was invited for a residency at the Mithila Museum in Niigata prefecture, Japan, a museum devoted to Indian folk art and crafts.
Jangarh Singh Shyam was not happy in Japan. In letters he describes his loneliness in this altogether foreign environment. It seems that he was made to paint far more paintings than he was used to, paintings which were to be sold at the museum. It also seems that he received far too little a share of the sales than artists in Japan are used to.
After three months, Jangarh Singh Shyam expressed his wish to return to India. It was not granted. His passport, having taken away from him, was withheld. In June 2001, Jangarh Singh Shyam hung himself from the ceiling fan in his room in Niigata prefecture. Japan.

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