Roop Chand

Artist / Writer, CHAIRMAN National Art Centre

Roop Chand was born in Dundahera District Gurrgaon in 1936. He did his Intermediate drawing examination from Government of Bombay in 1954. He did a brief study in Painting in J.J. School of Art Bombay. Then he did B.A (Fine Art), MA in Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology, MA History of Art all from Punjab University.

After working in a school for a while, he came to Chandigarh in 1960 and established Bal Bhawan under the president-ship of Nar Hari Vishnu Gadgil, the Governor of Punjab. He started with a few students who came after school time and in five months, there were about 900 students in Art, Music and Dance. Apart from director-ship, he took painting and clay modelling classes it was Tagore Centenary year. Bal Bhawan celebrated it .He organised an exhibition of 200 students' paintings in sector18 in a Govt. building which was a temporary arrangement for Bal Bhawan. This was the first big exhibition in Chandigarh. For the planning of Bal Bhawan's own building He happened to came to know Le Corbusier The builder of Chandigarh and gave him sketches of Oriential motifs.

After about eight months, he left Bal Bhawan and joined Government College for women. Dr. Mulk Raj Anand had joined the Punjab University as Tagore Professor of Art and Literature. He came in his touch and Roop Chand started organising national and international artists' exhibition at the University.

Chandigarh Art Movement

From GCCW, he shifted to home Science College. Principal Sheri Doongaji was an art lover. Dr Mulk Raj Anand left the university. By the time Government College of Art had shifted from Shimla to Chandigarh. He framed All India Arts and Crafts Society. Roop Chand organised its exhibition including Punjab and Delhi artists in memory of Late Corbusier who had died in the bathing tank in Paris: and Mulk Raj Anand left Punjab University. This was the take off Chanigarh movement of Art. Later on, Roop Chand founded Upsurge Group which Included Sohan Quadri, Rania, Shiv Singh, Sumant Shah, Adytia Prakash and S.S. Datta. Vinod Bakshi, Goldy and Pimmi Khanna joined in the second exhibition. For a few year it exhibited in Chandigarh and Delhi. Thus, Chandigarh Movement took a firm footing. Dr. Randawa did concrete help to Roop Chand in solving artists' financial problem.

Development of Movement of Art in Haryana.

On First November 1966 Haryana came as a new state and Roop Chand turned his attention to develop Modern Movement of Art in Haryana. In 1971, Haryana Government invited him to do an exhibition which could reflect the cultural traits of Haryana State. The title of the exhibition was Sanjhi Shakti. Mr. B.N. Chakarvati (Governor) inaugurated it on 18 Nov. 1971. It left an impact on the town art lovers. Thereon Roop Chand, ran around to Ambala Kurkshtra, Rohtak, and many other places in Haryana and helped out the young artists to develop their creative art. The Department of Culture conducted workshop on district Head Quarters. Roop Chand was always invited to guide the young artists.

Friends Studio Chandigarh

Roopchand's friends studio was thronged by Governors, Intellectuals and artists. He painted in series as 1- Time and Space, 2. Action in Time and Space. 3. Age of Anxiety. 4 Sanjhi Shakti, 5. Bindu Beginning. He did two murals in Haryana and left Chandigarh. His last monumental work was 40 feet high Memorial Sculpture in memory of First President of India at Kurukushetra University. After that he left India for a few years. Travelling, lecturing and exhibiting in West Asia, Middle East, and throughout Europe. He landed in Denmark. He did three exhibitions on Bindu and lectured at various places and completed his P.hd. thesis Art Artis and Society.

National Art Centre in Gurgaon

On his return to India, he established The Seventh School of Creative Art at JNU. In 1979. He established National Art Centre. Artists all over India exhibited and attended workshops every year there used to be Students' on the spot completion. NZCC collaborated in two workshops. He planed Zonal Cultural Centres and submitted the project to Rajiv Gandhi the then P.M. Dhanik Lal Mandal the Governor visited National Art Centre. Many Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners came to Art Centre as special invitees. Roop Chand exhibited all over India. And had many awards including Haryana Gaurav awards.

He painted the following series at his studio at NAC- 1-Bindu Memories 2- Homage to Women 3-Bindu Memories seconf 4- Bindu reappearance 5- I hail you the Indian Ocean and The Hymalayas 6- Merditation on Bindu.

Roop Chand wrote more than half a dozen books on subjects - art, poetry, fiction philosophy and biography. Roop Chand did Painting during Kargil Vijay operation moving along with soldiers on war front.