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Interview with Indian sand sculptor Sudarsan Pattnaik who created the 40-ft long reclining Buddha statue

16 May 2017 - 41   - 0

This Vesak, Indian sculptor Sudarsan Pattnaik flew to Colombo to create a 40-ft long reclining sand Buddha statue at the Diyawanna Vesak Zone as Sri Lanka hosted the UN Day of Vesak celebrations.

Art in any form is the best means of building cultural bridges, says the unassuming sand sculptor, who has received the Padma Shri, one of the most coveted civilian honours in India. His list of global accolades runs into pages. Holding the Guinness Word Record for the world’s tallest sand castle of 48ft and 8 inches made at the Puri beach in February this year, at 40, he has made India proud with 27 world championships. The winner of the People’s Choice Award in Berlin for five consecutive years, Sudarsan also clinched the Gold Medal for his 10 ft high sand sculpture of Lord Ganesh at the 10th Moscow Sand Art Competition in April this year. His masterpiece of the ‘Black Taj Mahal’ brought him into the global spotlight.

vesak

It was a gruelling task for Sudarsan’s mother and grandmother with her Rs. 200 pension to feed four boys. Formal education being a mere fantasy for young Sudarsan, he had to toil for his neighbour, “a thankless job”, as he reminisces, to feed and clothe himself. “Anything is possible in this world if you set your heart to it. Who would have thought that sand as a medium of art would make waves across the world,” reflects the artist credited with having introduced sand art to India without any formal training.

Read the full interview

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