Haku Shah was an Indian painter, Gandhian, cultural anthropologist and author on folk and tribal art and culture figurative painter of the Baroda School and an authority on folk and tribal art. Cultural roots of the family and the prevailing social, spiritual environment around were sources of major influences on Shah's life and art.Since his early childhood Shah was interested in painting, music, poetry and drama. He made wall paintings for mass awakening and even helped to stage an exhibition of paintings, depicting the exploitation in the society, which toured many villages. Shah strongly holds that art exists where life throbs and thrives. It is no surprise, then, that the natural simplicity and spontaneity of rural life fascinates him. While teaching at the Gandhi Ashram in Gujarat, Haku Shah came in contact with the Rani Paraj tribe. He recognized the magical quality of the Rani Paraj images and collected many of them. Later, a stint at the National Institute of Design, Ahmeadabad, provided impetus to his mission of discovering tribal rituals, culture and their way of life. The Nehru Fellowship further enabled him to devote himself to this task.He was also invited by Stella Kramrisch to assist her in presenting the exhibition 'Ritual Art in Tribe and Village - Art of Unknown India' in the United States. The exhibition acted as window for the people in the US to peep into the fascinating world of traditional Indian art and craft. He carried with him wonderful figurines of clay for the exhibition, many of which form a part of Kramrisch's legacy to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Shah later set up a Folk Art Museum in Ahmedabad, and has also conceived and designed a multi art and crafts complex at Udaipur called Shilpgram. Shah has published several books on traditional Indian pottery. He is the curator of the Museum for Tribal Cultures at the Gujarat Vidhyapeth (University), and a consultant of the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. He has also been associated with the Museum of Mankind, London; the Tropical Museum, Amsterdam; and the Mingi International Museum of World Folk Art in San Diego, California.Haku Shah is a painter of considerable individuality. His works may depict a ubiquitous blue shepherd with a staff across his shoulders, which could be a Fulani of West Africa, a Masai of Kenya, or a herdsman of Persia or Afghanistan. This is why Shah is frequently called a 'global' artist with a rural Indian touch. His simple images of trees, cows and flautists reflect his close relation to tribal art and also associate him with a world that knows no boundaries.Shah possesses an ever deepening interest in collecting art objects and documenting their techniques and functional background and encouraging their practice wherever feasible, moving from object to technique, technique to function, function to concept, and concept to background lore and beliefs.
His exhibit with us is are two Oil on Canvases.