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Khoj Kasheer poster

I. Introduction

KHOJ KASHEER, a fifteen day International Artists Residency was held in Srinagar, Kashmir at the ‘Gulshan’-villa (Aga Manzil) in Lalmandi between October 29 to November 12, 2007.  The Residency cum workshop was organized by the “KHOJ International Artists Association New Delhi“ in cooperation with a local artist community, ‘KASHYAPS’, a Kashmiri artists association, the teachers and students from the ‘Institute of Music and Fine Arts Srinagar’, who all joined together in an outstanding way to realize the workshop and exhibition. Especially the subliminally conditions of permanent political unrest, the overall organisation as well from KHOJ in New Delhi as by the Kashmiris was much better than expected, including transportation to and from Kashmir, as well around Srinagar, accommodation and food.

KASHYAPS is a group of contemporary artists of Kashmir. One of the objectives of the group is to equip the viewer with a substantial and representative information about the painters and sculptors who lived, worked and witnessed first handedly evolution of turmoil in the Valley of Kashmir from its beginning. The Art works created during the period of turmoil is a resonance which presents certain indications of the nature and location. An other objective is to establish an art centre of multifarious activities, like establishing a museum of contemporary art and also offer space to budding and established artists to hold exhibitions of their works periodically. The fact needs to be clarified here that in spite of being an important tourist destination of the world no such centre exists in the valley. The group, thus, envisages promoting art activities besides creating art awareness among the masses. The centre is expected to be absolutely contemporary in nature beyond the peripheries of controversial ideologies or governmental interferences.

“Kashyaps means Kashmir (land of Kashyap Rishi) in Sanskrit, (Kasheer is the colloquial Koshur name of the valley) comes from Kashyap Rishi, a Saraswat Brahmin and one of the Saptarshis, who was key in formalizing the ancient Historical Vedic Religion. The Kashmiri Pandits are his descendants and have named the valley after him…” (Wikipedia.org/Kashmir, Etymology (15.11.2011)