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Cover: Navigation by Susanna Bauer. Photo © Simon Cook

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Haku Shah

Haku Shah - Flute Player

Flute Player 2007 • Oil on Canvas

Haku Shah is a well-known figurative painter of the Baroda School and an authority on folk and tribal art culture. Cultural roots of the family and the prevailing social, spiritual environment around were sources of major influences on Haku’s life. Since early childhood Hakubhai was interested in painting, music, poetry, drama etc. He strongly holds that art exists where life throbs and thrives. It's no surprise that the natural simplicity and spontaneity of rural life fascinates him.

Haku Shah is a painter of considerable individuality. His works may depict a ubiquitous blue shepherd with a staff across his shoulders, but that could be a Fulani of West Africa, a Masai of Kenya, a herdsman of Persia or Afghanistan, which is why Haku Shah is known to be a ‘global’ artist with a rural Indian touch. His simple images of trees, cows and flutes also reflect his close relationship with tribal arts. He makes the images look so simple that a viewer may indeed be fooled into believing so, but the layers of thought processes beneath tale a different tale.

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