Jangarh Singh Shyam is part of the Gond tribe located in Madhya Pradesh. With the intent to build a collection of tribal art in Bhopal, an Indian collective, led by Jagdish Swaminathan, began in the 80’s a study tour. During their visit in the Mandla District, the painted walls of a house held their attention. They inquired about the name of the author of these paintings and met for the first time Jangarh Singh Shyam. He was then a teenager blessed with an outstanding pictorial style. They invited him to Bhopal to conduct a series of works on paper and canvas now kept at the Bharat Bhavan. Located in Bhopal, the Bharat Bhavan is one of the most prestigious museums of tribal and contemporary Indian art.
J. SWAMINATHAN IN THE MANDLA DISTRICT, MADHYA PRADESH (IN VADEHRA ART GALLERY CATALOGUE 1993)
Jangarh Singh Shyam committed suicide in 2001 in Japan. He died in his thirty’s, leaving behind a particularly intense multifaceted work.
From his early work, with a raw and expressive touch, to his refined latest artworks, his career demonstrates exceptional creativity. In the early 80’s, his first large scale works on paper reveal forms of great expressiveness and simplicity, with a dominant primal feel.
JANGARH SINGH SHYAM, PAINTINGS ON PAPER, EARLY 80'S, COLLECTION BHARAT BHAVAN BHOPAL
The forms take shape spontaneously in space. The Gond deities painted by Jangarh Singh Shyam, stand with openness to our gaze with arms and legs spread, in front of us, and, like masks, defy us. These forms are the ones of silhouettes similar to those of large paper cuts. These appearances are made of flat solid areas of bright colors either etched, or studded with points. The overall effect evokes the puppets of the shadow theatres.
JANGARH SINGH SHYAM, PAINTING ON PAPER, END OF 80'S, COLLECTION PODDAR
As shown in the exhibition "Other Masters of India" (“Autres maîtres de l’Inde) organized by the “Musée du Quai Branly” in 2010, his great scale papers of the late 80's and early 90’s show a shift to a profusion of colors that could be described as psychedelic. The more elaborate forms pour a constellation of endless colors.
The second half of the 90’s is one of rare refinement, pictural maturity and graphic mastering, at its best, amazing, confounding.
JANGARH SINGH SHYAM, 1997, INK ON PAPER, 56 X 71 CM
During these years, Jangarh Singh Shyam practices painting, drawing and screen printing. Each medium is for him the opportunity for new experiences. Each discovery is an opportunity to expand his representation systems. Juxtapositions of points in an arc of concentric circles for painting, chopped lines juxtaposed in kinetic frame effect for drawing, flat solid color gradient rock pattern for screen prints.
Whatever the technique, Jangarh Singh Shyam manages this strength (= tour de force) of creating new styles while respecting his fundamental concern, that of transmitting his culture, the spirit of the Gond who is in a word, a concept, that of vibration. This same term that translates over and now one of the most powerful concepts of Indian thought.
VIEW OF THE JANGARH SINGH SHYAM SOLO SHOW, "AUTRES MAITRES DE L'INDE" MUSEE DU QUAI BRANLY, PARIS 2010
JANGARH SINGH SHYAM GWANGJU BIENNALE 2012