Beej 1 03
Ganga as Grace 1 95
Seekers Group 1 07
Transitional Self 1 99
Beej 2 03
Ganga as Grace 2 95
Intimations 2 96
Reflections 2 97
Seekers Group 2
Transitional Self 2 99
Transitional Self 3 99
Transitional Self 4 99
Shakti Maira is an internationally renowned writer, artist, sculptor and thinker. His book, Towards Ananda - Rethinking Indian Art and Aesthetics, was published by Penguin Viking in January 2006. He has for many years written about art, aesthetics, education, culture and travel for magazines and newspapers around the world, including Resurgence, and has been a columnist for First City and Design Today magazines in India.
In 2005, Shakti helped organize the ‘Learning through the arts’ in Asia symposium in New Delhi, and was subsequently invited by UNESCO to prepare the Asian vision statement for ‘Arts in Education: Learning Through the Arts’. In 2006 he was appointed as a consultant by The India Foundation of the Arts (IFA).
In his career as an artist and sculptor, Shakti has had twenty-four one-person shows in India, the US and in Europe. His work can be found at the National Gallery of Modern Art, India, in collections belonging to leading corporate houses, and in private collections around the world. Trained as an economist and business manager, Shakti has balanced his career as a professional artist and author with assignments with multinational banks and corporations in the US and in India including the World Bank.
Since its publication in 2006, Shakti’s book, Towards Ananda, has acquired a committed following among a wide-ranging readership. The reason being that unlike most books on Indian art and aesthetics which emphasize the ‘glorious past’ of the classical traditions, Towards Ananda is centred on the present and the future—on contemporary art and its place in the emerging global art world. In it Shakti explores ancient theories of aesthetics in the light of contemporary challenges, and journeys across the country to distil the complex forces which have shaped Indian aesthetics.
In the course of its narrative, he illustrates the application of the aesthetic values of balance, rhythm, harmony and proportionality in art - as also in economics, development strategies, health, education, city planning, architecture, and product design. Though the primary focus is India, the issues discussed, of purpose and practice, content and context, market forces and institutions, extend to all societies that are becoming homogenized by globalization.
In the last few years, since his return to India after living in the US for more than two decades, Shakti has created and exhibited two series of paintings – the Beej series (2003) and the Pilgrims’ Path series (2001). While the former explores the magic of potentiality inherent in each one of us and celebrates the energy of growth and regeneration, the latter is a meditation on the very nature of the spiritual path. Shakti recently completed a set of twelve bronze sculptures that are his first castings in India, and are part of a new sculptural series, The Seekers (2006-7). Through them, Shakti has attempted to express ‘the inner experiential textures of the spiritual journey’, and each figure represents a moment of introspection and insight on the path.
More information about Shakti’s writing and art is available at his website.