What Happens When Professionals with Day Jobs Pursue Their Passion for Arts

By Vasundhara Dudeja in Events 20/08/2018

Art has always been an abstract concept for people with everyday jobs, something that exists with an aura of seriousness which is unrelated to the mundane routine. Dhoomimal Art Gallery’s event Self-Taught, held on 6th August 2018, defied this preconceived notion of art and gave a chance to four different full-time professionals who have pursued their drive to create, despite being in full-time day jobs, and showcase their art in India’s oldest art gallery.


Self-Taught was the first of its kinds art show that showcased the art of four entirely different professionals who are self-taught artists – Sahar Zaman, a newscaster, Meghna Deka, a media professional, Dhiraj Singh, a journalist and Jaspreet Singh, a hospitality expert. The art forms ranged from multimedia art, charcoal portrait, astrophotography and abstract expressionism.


Padma Shri Shovana NarayanPadma Shri Shovana Narayan


Mr. Shashi Tharoor as the Guest of Honor and Padma Shri Shovana Narayan as the Chief Guest exemplified the grace and beauty of the event. This event, organized by the current owners of the gallery Mrs. Uma Jain and her son Mr. Uday Jain, truly marked a re-defining moment in the history of Art Exhibitions in India by recognizing and giving voice to prolific self-taught artists.


Uma Jain and Shashi TharoorMrs. Uma Jain and Mr. Shashi Tharoor


The essence of the show was to portray the special journey of these four artists, and how their different walks of life and full-time career didn’t stop them from connecting through the common love for creation.


Sahar Zaman, a renowned independent art journalist and TV Presenter, was the curator of Self-Taught Art Exhibition. From conceptualizing the idea behind Self-Taught to making it a reality, Sahar’s drive to inculcate the spirit of creativity in everyone, irrespective of their day jobs played a vital role in putting together the Self-Taught Art Exhibition.


“As a newsperson, I feel the ugliness of hate and violence every hour and increasingly feel the need to bring in some semblance of peace through art!”


After having covered arts for twenty years and creating India’s first art TV Channel, Hunar TV, Sahar advocates art as therapy for the soul and something that adds to the depth of one’s understanding.


Sahar’s creation is an art brand of her own work called Chammak Patti. Chamak Patti is intricate embellishments consisting of reflective stickers designed, meticulously hand-cut and applied on a range of products.


Chammak Patti by Sahar ZamanChammak Patti by Sahar Zaman


Dhiraj Singh, with 23 years of Journalism behind him, began his artistic journey by getting his collages published in a newspaper where he was working as a reporter. His art form is that of abstract expressionism.


Abstract Expressionism Installation by Dhiraj SinghAbstract Art by Dhiraj Singh


His artwork at Self-Taught was Nature Squared Series which was a series of bright and vibrant installations molded beautifully to portray everyday objects through the eyes of an abstract artist.


The third artist, also one of the most recognizable faces of Times Now as Senior Editor and Anchor was Meghna Deka. Highly inspired by Raja Ravi Verma, Amrita Sher-Gil, Meghna assimilated Realism as her forte.


Meghna Deka with Shashi TharoorMeghna Deka gifting a sketch made by her to Mr. Tharoor


Being familiar with charcoal etching, graphite work, and pointillism, her artwork at Self-Taught consisted of scrupulously sketched charcoal portraits.


Jaspreet Singh was the fourth and final artist of the evening. His journey in photography started from an early age, with his father’s analog camera. It was in 2010 that he took his hobby with the lens more seriously


A passionate Hotelier by profession, he developed his interest in the lesser known genre of Nightscape and Astrophotography. Astrophotography is the capture of celestial events, astronomical objects, and areas of the night sky.


Jaspreet’s photographs at the event were some of his absolutely scintillating stills from Astrophotography.


Jaspreet Singh's PhotographyStills from Jaspreet Singh’s Astrophotography


Mr. Tharoor on the occasion commended and congratulated each of the artists on their individual art.


“What these artists promote through this exhibition that is to pick something up as living and to follow your hearts alongside is truly a wonderful tradition, something everyone should get inspired from”

Vasundhara is an in-house content creator. Other than past experiences of writing including writing as an Intern for The Hindu and various other platforms, she is also an engineer, a dancer, and a bibliophile.


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