Bhajju Shyam

The Bard of Images

Bhajju Shyam is an acclaimed artist belonging to the Pradhan Gond community of central India, an indigenous community known for their bardic tradition of storytelling. The stunning visual art expression of the Gond people began with painting the walls of their homes with animals and motifs borrowed from traditional tattoos. In recent decades, several Pradhan Gond artists have transposed their work to paper and canvas to create works of staggering beauty and complexity. Bhajju Shyam is one of the most celebrated artists of his generation. Bhajju is marked out by his careful and intense visual imagery. He paints in the twilight space between the contemporary predicament and the inherited sites of his art practice. Bhajju lives in Bhopal, India and is the recipient of the State Award for Best Indigenous Artist from the government of Madhya Pradesh and the Ojas Art Award at the Jaipur Literature Festival. His work is traveling increasingly widely and has been exhibited at major venues in India and Europe.

His best-known work, The London Jungle Book, is a visual travelogue of his 2002 visit to London, where he went to paint the interior of an up-market Indian restaurant. The book, published by Tara Books and the Museum of London, was released in November 2004, along with a three-month exhibition at the Museum. It has now been published in Italian, Dutch and French, Korean & Portuguese, and the exhibition has since toured the UK, Germany, Holland, Italy and Russia.