Newspaper article International New York Times

Nek Chand, Creator of Sculpture Kingdom in India, Dies at 90

Newspaper article International New York Times

Nek Chand, Creator of Sculpture Kingdom in India, Dies at 90

Article excerpt

His life's work, known as the Rock Garden of Chandigarh, covers several acres and is populated by figures of dancing women and animals.

Nek Chand, an Indian artist who rose to prominence by quietly building a sprawling kingdom of folk sculptures in northern India that became one of the country's most popular tourist destinations, died on Friday in Chandigarh. He was 90.

He died after having a heart attack, his son, Anuj Saini, said.

Mr. Chand's life's work, known as the Rock Garden of Chandigarh, covers several acres and is populated by rock sculptures and figures of dancing women and animals, many of them fashioned from found objects like the mudguards of motorcycles and broken bangles.

It stands in contrast to the striking if neglected government buildings conceived by Le Corbusier, who planned Chandigarh -- the capital of the states of Punjab and Haryana -- in the 1950s.

For some, the Rock Garden, which has thousands of visitors a day, is an antidote to what, with its stark Modernist buildings, is seen as something of a bureaucrat's city.

"It has made Chandigarh complete," said Rupan Deol Bajaj, a retired civil servant from Punjab who has sought to have the garden protected. "It has given a soul to the city."

The creation story of the Rock Garden has the tenor of a local epic. Mr. Chand was born on Dec. 15, 1924, in the village of Barian Kalan, which became part of Pakistan after partition. He was newly arrived in the city of Chandigarh just after India's independence in 1947. He worked for the government as a road inspector, according to the Department of Chandigarh Tourism website. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.