“Politics and Power behind the Animal”
“In his recent art the young Indian painter Dhaneshwar Shah brings together his
tribal influences and his contemporary sensibility in a wide range of surreal
animal narratives. His works is lyrical, even magical and is grounded in a feeling
of childlike innocence. Through his art, shah reveals his uninhibited zest for life
“Asian Art News” Art Magazine, October, 2009 /
Dhaneshwar Shah was born at
practice through painting and installation. He finished his study BFA and MFA from College of
he started his research work on experimental art and Chinese traditional art at
give new direction to art through a new media art.
Dhaneshwar Shah has received prestigious national and international art awards namely the
National Art Award Sahitya Kala Parishad , AIFACS Art Award, and Curatorial project, Korean
Government Award ,
attended art residencies from
government offers him 3 year scholarship for doctoral studies and now he is doing a PhD from
and future of Ink art.
He and his artwork highly influenced by the Tribal and Aboriginal art and their philosophy
because he believe these arts are pure and authentic. These influences can be seen in his
artworks like their dotted lines, thick outlines, bright and flat colors, humor, repetition of forms
etc. in his own language and techniques. His art is a proper combination of Tribal art and
Aboriginal art values and the aesthetic proportions of contemporary experimental medium.
Through his artwork he likes to establish new sense, language, possibilities and dimension of
Artist mostly used an animal forms in his artworks. Through the artworks he tried to focus on
issues related with animal. Every day in countries around the world, animals are fighting for
their lives According to artist we no need to interfere in animal personal life and no need to use
animal for our selfishness. We need to give to them rights of freedom and life. Animals deserve
rights like a human. They are not ours to use for food, clothing, experimentation or
entertainment. He used tribal and aboriginal influence because from the prehistoric time has
relation between them.
Please introduce yourself
My name is Dhaneshwar Shah and my Chinese name is Shou Tian 寿天. I am a contemporary
and experimental artist practicing around the world. Subsequently I studied traditional Chinese
art and New Media Art at the China Academy of Art in
a practice and research on Chinese ink painting under the guidance of Dong Jining /董继宁at
Wuhan University of Technology supported by Chinese government. Dong Jining is very famous
artist, and well known for Chinese water and mountain painting.
Recently I become a president of MEADOWS,
organization, they are continuously doing a political activities retaliated to art and culture.
How did you discover your passion for art?
When I first started to paint, I knew nothing of artists and art theories. I adopted only line and
colour to express my inner thoughts and feelings. It was a school teacher, in fact, who saw what
I was doing and told me that I was making was art. After that, I found a new purpose. I
embarked on academic study to find alternative ways to express myself and advance my art. In
fact, all I found was confusion. Art History teaches you that there are a million ways to paint;
there are theories, histories, and sociologies. This was distracting to me; it interrupted the
vividness of internal expressions.
In untangling myself from this web of confusion, I found a fascination with the animal world.
There is purity to their behaviour and expression that I could channel. I am captivated by the
incredible variety of animals and birds and their humorous, energetic and spontaneous
behaviour. In my art now, I find focus and expression in the unique body language, distinctive
energies and mysterious characteristics of animals and birds.
What are the main sources of inspiration for your art?
I am highly influenced by Tribal and Aboriginal art and their philosophies. I find them a purer,
more authentic mode of expression. You can find these influences in the dotted lines, thick
outlines, bright, flat colours, humor, and repetition of forms in my paintings. I consider my art
to be a combination of Tribal and Aboriginal techniques and values, with the aesthetics of
contemporary experimental media. My aim is to establish a new global language in
contemporary art that remains faithful to self-expression.
Are there any artists that you have been particularly influenced by?
I do not depend on any one artist for inspiration as I want to move beyond a singular artist or
style. My main influence lies in Australian Aboriginal art, Tanzanian Tinga –Tinga art, Indian folk
art and Chinese ink art. In each of these, animals recur as an important element.From history,
artists such as Van Gogh, Matisse and Miro have all inspired me with their strength of self-
expression, vibrancy of colour, simplifications of form and, in the case of Miro, psychic
Why is studying art important for young people?
Sometimes, words are not sufficient for expressing ourselves. When words fail, we can draw on
the visual language of art. I believe that students can find better expression in art than in any
other subject. An artwork can represent memory, feeling and thinking and can give shape and
form to things that are hard to describe. It can also teach us more about humanity and society
than any textbook can.
I believe that the freedom of expression offered by art encourages children to be braver and
more experimental. This bravery can extend into their other subjects, helping them to explore
and express new ideas with confidence. In essence, I think that art can provide a bedrock for