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Sunday Special » Perspective

Posted at: Apr 15, 2018, 1:23 AM; last updated: Apr 15, 2018, 1:23 AM (IST)

Mosaic art gets a new meaning from Moga man

Kulwinder Sandhu in Moga

Kulwinder Sandhu in Moga

For Harjeet Singh Sandhu, mosaic is not just how he chooses to live his life. It is also how he tells his experiences through small pieces of glass to craft amazing pieces of art. His mosaic collection includes works on the Golden Temple, Mother Teresa, US President Barack Obama and 3-time New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “I plan to make mosaics of Sikh gurus in the near future,” he says during his visit to Moga. 

His mosaic on the Golden Temple is adorned with shining mirrors that look refulgent in the reflection of water. “It took me about two years to complete it. The biggest task was to create the reflection in water on small pieces of glass without using external colours. I think I couldn’t believe I have done justice to my work”, says Sandhu. Equally lively is his work on Shaheed Bhagat Singh. The best part of the portrait is the jute rope, which he ‘weaved’ in the pieces of glass, to make the cot. An exhibition of his works is in at the Sikh Heritage Museum at Mississauga in Ontario province of Canada from March 31 to April 22.

He says human life is full adventures, milestones and moments pieced together and framed into a colourful mosaic. Sandhu grew up in Moga, the heartland of Malwa belt in Punjab, and did his schooling at his home town. He grew up in various parts of the country because of his father’s transferrable job with the Railways. 

Back in Punjab, he got admission in a sports college. The artist in him wasn’t really cut out for sports. “Yet I realised that both streams had equal amount of discipline.” He did his post-graduation in physical education and began his career as PT Master in a government school. He tried his luck in theatre, but soon shifted to fine arts. He did his post-graduation in fine arts from Government College, Hoshiarpur.

Soon he painted wonderful landscapes of the semi-hill areas of Hoshiarpur. He also worked on wood and cement. He became a sculptor and a painter, earning recognition in the state.  He left the country and migrated to US in 1985. He started doing the business of making sign boards but never left his passion. In free time, he made mosaics.  He first made a beautiful mosaic of the famous sufi poet and saint Baba Farid, which will soon be placed in a museum at Faridkot.

According to Saroj Rani, professor of Fine Arts, Punjabi University, Patiala, “Sandhu does not allow himself any self-indulgence: No bloated ego and no weaving theories to lend weight to his work, and no comfort of any kind. His bleeding hands and blinking eyes understand the pain and ecstasy of his existence.”

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