Thursday, February 16, 2006

Posted by Picasa "An Offering" oil on canvas 30" x 30"
from 'Desire' a series of 35 oil paintings.
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Between the abstract and the tactile, the two poles of Swaranjit Savi’s artistic world, fans out the eternal play of the human body. Though he shatters the hegemony of mind over body, both submit to an unqualified celebration of physicality that knows of no system of thought, tradition or indoctrination. That’s why his faces admit of no identity. Savi’s encounter with human forms allows no mediation of any art tradition; the body in his works is neither depicted in any traditional Indian style or school of painting, nor does it follow any modernistic standards. He steps out of all dogma to build a primal dialogue with human forms. As he straddles the two worlds of poetry and painting, Savi imbues each with the other’s possibilities. If his canvases have a lyrical throb to them, his poems are spread out on deepening perspectives. When his two-faced muse turns to his engagement with body, scenes and syllables merge to create a world of Leela -- a celebration of body and beyond.
Even as Savi liberates the body from the shackles of interpretative dogma, he also emancipates the imagination from the rootless abstraction.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Savi’s art has more to do with excavation than representation. The photographer in him does not as much focuses, crops out or narrows down as scoops out. By disinterring the human images buried in the trees, he reinstates the human in nature. His effort to search for the parallels of human patterns in the texture of trees is much like that of scientist who watches a drama of pulsating organisms in what appears a mere blob of blood to the naked eye.
In these photographs, Savi frames out bends, stems and crevices of trees to compose metaphors of human desire. Through the filter of his amazing inventiveness, human figures in trees emerge like sculptures out of stone. Not coincidentally, his compositions indicate an atavistic urge towards the erotic art of Khajuraho.
After his view-finder excavates what can be termed as `the unconscious of the trees, the painter in him imbues it with interpretation, imposing the frames with emphatic hues in primary tones of blood red, green, indigo and yellow. His digital art helps him put a surreal skin on the frames and animate the figures so that they can best be described as digital sculptures.
In Savi;s photographs, one can locate an uncanny echo of the miniature art of the 17th and 19th century, especially the Kangra one. Trees served as important props in the drama of Radha-Krishna love in these miniatures. To heighten the Sringar rasa, the artist would show two trunks of a tree coiled around each other. Savi zooms in on this stylization of miniatures to recuperate a range of emotive themes.
In this series, he not only attempts to shift the co-ordinates of his expression but also yearns to re-configure the genre of photography.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

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Savi makes a poetic comeback with Ashram

Savi makes a poetic comeback with Ashram

Amrita Chaudhry

Ludhiana, July 15: A WELL-KNOWN publisher, painter and poet, Swaranjit Savi, makes his comeback to the world of poetry after almost a decade-long hiatus with his book Ashram. It did not take that long to write the poems, says Savi, as it took to compile the book. The writer of much-talked about and controversial books Dehi Naad and Kameshwari, Savi began his foray into the world of poetry in 1987 with Avagya and followed it up in 1990 with another book, Dard Piyarer Hon Da. Both books, according to the writer, concentrated on Punjab in those times, and then in 1994, came Dehi Naad, in 1998, Kala Hashiya Te Suha Gulab with Desire and Kameshwari published in 1999. After this a long silence followed, which was broken by Ashram in 2005.
‘‘My earlier collections of books dwelt on one subject but then soon I saw myself responding to a lot many things around me. This gave birth to so many poems. I wrote on nature, death and many other things. So for Ashram, I spent two years trying to design it and compile it in such a way that the poems which are written on so many different thing can reflect myself,’’ says Savi as he explains his book. The book will be released on July 17.

Talking about his poetry, Savi, especially like that of Dehi Naad and Kameshwari, which created a lot of furore in Punjabi poetic circles, says, ‘‘I knew that these books will create a controversy for these books dealt with celeberation of sex which is a taboo in our society. See we all can discuss sex in group, shred it down to the minutest detail but can never write about it, especially in first person. These books attracted sharp criticism but equal acclaim too. Some called it a shoddy piece of porn while others called it art. For me, these poems were a confession, but then we all are scared of making confessions. Yet these books gave way to a new genre in Punjabi poetry and many are now copying it.’’ Kameshwari, which is a long poem, was staged also.

The Speaking Tree

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Swarnjit Savi

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Swaranjit Savi - a Profile

-a profile
(Poet, Painter/Sculptor, Photographer and Publisher)

*Born : Oct. 20, 1958, Jagraon, Ludhiana ( Punjab) .
* Parents: Smt. Mohinder Kaur and S. Mohan Singh
* Education: M.A. English 1981 and MA Fine Arts 1985.
*Began painting as a hobby during school days and poetry in college days during graduation.
One Man Shows: (Paintings and Photography)
* Poster Poems :
(Poster colours on paper)Held 35 one man shows of 70 “Poster Poems” based on the
Punjabi Poetry from Baba Sheikh Farid to contemporary poets from 1987 to 1990
throughout North India to mark his presence for common man against voilence of
terroists and police.
* Desire :
(Oil on canvas) a series of 35 oil paintings:
*20-23 Feb 1997 at Thakar Art Gallery, Amritsar.
* 19-23 March 1997 at Govt. Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh
* Dec. 12, 1998 to Jan. 11, 1999 at Patiala Art World, Patiala.
*'The Quest :
(Mix Media on Paper)
at Indus Ind Gallery Chandigarh from Feb. 17 to March 3, 2000.
* Leela :
(Oil on canvas)at The Mall, Ludhiana from June 2003.*
at Press Club of India 2007 *
*The Speaking Tree:
from November 16-21 ,2005 at Academy of Arts and Literature
Siri fort Institutional Area ,New Delhi *
* The Dancing Lines :
at gallery Artmosphere, Ludhiana 2008
at Govt. Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh 2008 *
(Oil on canvas) at Museum and Art Gallery, Punjabi University, Patiala 28 feb.
to 27 march, 2010 *
Jan.7 Feb -5, 2011 at Gallery Artmosphere, Ludhiana *
(Oil on canvas) July 9-10,2011 at Ambedkar Hall, Southall, England organized by Adara Shabd. *
*EVOLUTION-II : An Instalation in Stainless Steel
(Sculpture in stainless steel) 12-12-2012 at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana - an
installation to mark the Evolution of Tools and Language in stainless steel at Flag Chowk.
(Size 7 ft. width x 8 ft. length x 17 ft. height)
(June 13-14 Toronto , Canada during World Punjabi Conference-2015}
An Exhibition of Paintings( Oil and Natural Pigments on Canvas) depicting travels (Udasian) of
Guru Nanak Dev ji, indicating the Guru in dialogue with different segment of society during his
40000 Miles travels.
*Punjab Lalit Kala Academy 1990,
* Art India, Ludhiana, 1991-1992.
*Art Heritage, Jalandhar, 1997, 1998
* Nijh World Society: Paint for Justice Nov.2012
Publications :
Twelve books of Poetry
*Dayrian Di Qabr Chon, 1985.
* Awaggya, 1987.1998,2013
* Dard Piadey Hon Da, 1990, 1998,2013.
*Dehi Naad, 1994. 2013.
* Kala Hashia Te Sooha Gulab, 1998.
*Kameshwari 1999. 2013.
*Desire (English) 1999. 2013.
*Aashram, 2005 , 2013.
* MAA 2008, 2013.
*Tarqheen Yudh ( Hindi)- 2012
*Kameshwari (English) -2012
* TE MAIN AYA BASS Poetry 2013
*Sada Ronda Ey dil Mahia 2009 (Translation of poems by Uzbek Poetess Uktamoy Kholdrova into
* Jalgeet (Translation of Telgu long poem by N. Gopi into Punjabi)*Translated Kashmiri, Tamil, Telgu,
Bangali, Manipuri and Kannada Poetry into Punjabi for Sahitya Academy Delhi 2009- 10- 11-12
* Presented poetry in Poetry Festivals
at Delhi, Bangluru, Shimla, Hydrabad,Srinagar, Patiala and Ludhiana organized by
Sahitya Academy, New Delhi.
and SAARC festival of Literature at Delhi-2010, Amritsar 2012
Represented Punjabi Language at All India Radio Poetry Symposium at Hydrabad 2014
th Broadcated in all Indian languages on 26 January 2014 from all radio stations of India
*Presented papers:
Research paper on book Amrita Shergill by Dr Tejwant Gill 2009 Art Council Chandigarh
On Maya- a novel by Surinder Neer of Jammu-n-Kashmir at Punjabi Uni. Patiala 2013
*Presentatations on Radio and TV
*Participated in more than 125 programmes ( Poery recitations, Interviews and
Discussions on Art and literature on All India Radio Jalandhar and New Delhi
*Participated in more than 175 programmes (Kavi Darbars, Interviews and Discussions
on Art and literature on Doordarshan Jalandhar and New Delhi
*Represented Punjabi Language as Poet at All India Radio Poetry Symposium at
th Hydrabad 2014 (Translated into all Indian languages and broadcasted on 26 January
2014 from all Radio Stations of India)
* A documentary on my life (as a poet and Artist)was made by ZEE TV and telecasted
many times in India, US and Canada.
Awards :
*Gurmukh Singh Musafir Award
Department of Languages Punjab Govt.
in 1990 and 1994
*Mohan Singh Mahir Award
From GND University, Amritsar, 1991
*Sant Ram Udasi Puraskar 1990
Janvadi Sahit Sabha, Bhadaur
*Safdar Hashmi Award 2009
Punjab Electricity Board Sahit Sabha, Patiala
* Sahit Academy, Ludhiana Award-2009
Sahit Academy, Ludhiana
* Best Poet Award-2015
World Punjabi Conference-2015 , Toronto, Canada
Worked :
*Editor-Literature and Arts, Quami Rajniti 1985-1987
*Editor-Literature and Arts The Mehram 1987 to 1990.
Edited Special issues on Punjabi Literature:
Umeed- ( Hindi Literary Monthly from Behraiech UP) Punjabi Sahit Special Issue-2001 (Edited
and Translated into Hindi)
Mehram (Monthly from Nabha) Parvasi Punjabi Sahit ank 2002
Permanent Collection on display:
* Punjabi University , Patiala at Museum and Artgallery,( Punjab).
* Punjabi Academy, Delhi
* Vidya Infosis, Ludhiana.
* Gwendolyn C. Harrison Indiana, USA
* Dorothy Mc Mohan Indiana, USA
* Devinder Chandan, U.K.
* Ujagar Singh Kanwal, Canada
* Uktamoy Khaldrova, Uzbekistan
* Indian Embassy in Afganistan
* Dr. S S Noor, Delhi
* Amarjit Grewal, Jatinder Preet and Amrita Chowdhry Ludhiana
* Toledo City, Philippines
*Punjab Agricultral University, Ludhiana .
*Guru Granth Bhawan, Punjabi University Patiala
and many more with individual collectors.
*Into Publishing & Printing Since 1990 business in the establishment:
1978/2, Maharaj Nagar, Behind Circuit House, Ludhiana
Phones :
Mo.: 09876668999, 0161 2774236
Lucille Tomarong,

Monday, February 13, 2006

Swarnjit Savi: A Poet who Paints

Dr. Jaspal Singh

AS a painter Swarnjit Savi has held dozens of exhibitions of his posters and paintings in different parts of Punjab. He conceptualised and painted seventy representative poems of renowned Punjabi poets from Baba Farid to the present times in the form of beautiful posters. The lingual texts in these posters got transformed into paintings, which in turn got 'translated' back into original articulations. This way colour and alphabets got a unique metamorphosis that appeared like Einstein's 'four dimensional space-time continuum'. Besides being a painter, Savi has about half a dozen collections of poems to his credit. His Dehi Naad, a collection of evocative poems has been commented upon in prestigious literary journals and was later on put to English translation as Desire by Ajmer Rode. Kameshwari a verse play by him was staged both at Ludhiana and Chandigarh in 1998 and is still remembered as a daring experiment in the theatre of 'Desire' with very strong Freudian overtones.
Savi's flirtation with colours and alphabets has spawned his latest collection of poems titled as Ashram, published by Lokgeet Parkashan, Chandigarh. It carries about six dozen sensitive poems. The poem 'Harf Rang Bhijje' takes upon itself most of the semantic load of the entire collection. The poet here expresses his feelings thus, Haraf Rang Bhijje/Tairde canvas de utte/Jiun Kuunjan dian daran/Haraf ibadat/Haraf chirag muhabbat de/ Jagde bujhde tare/Haraf kisse da niggha hath jiun hath wich howe/Haraf naal jiun cheer ke langhe/Arth de jungal/Wang leek de raushan raushan/Haraf kabutar komal komal/Udd udd den sandeshe durin/Haraf jiun tare/Jurh jurh banade/Khat tere wal komal bhawi/Haraf jiun patta phuttda komal/Phull di dodi/Pai muhabbat trel nu takdi/Mar mar jandi/Pai sharmandi/Haraf jiun machhi tarhfe thal te/Mangdi pani/Rang meri jiun muuk vedna/Antar man tak vehndi jawe/Rang te canvas/Ik duje nu milde jiun galwakrhi/Failde turde..., Wich smundar buund jiun koi/Jism jiun turde addh supne wich/Duur duur takk neel roshni/Jan koi prem kahani..." (Alphabets steeped in colours are floating on the canvas like a flight of the Siberian cranes in the azure sky. Alphabets are a form of prayer, holy lamps of love, twinkling stars or a soft suave touch of a warm hand. The jungle of signification blazes through the alphabets like a streak of illuminating light. Alphabets are like smooth and silky pigeons carrying messages far and near. Like stars in the sky they connect, making configurations in the form of love letters. They are like tender leaflets or a coy flower bud waiting for the sensual touch of dew. Alphabets are like a fish out of water, being perceived through the mute agony of my heart. Colour and canvas affectionately meet each other, moving and expanding like a drop of water in the sea or like a somnambulist moving around in the blueness of the night or like the unfolding of a romantic tale.)
The charm of alphabets and colours leads the poet back to his roots. 'Chupp-chan wichio Langdian' is an autobiographical poem produced by the poet's fertile fantasy. Here he is reminded of the wrinkled face of his maternal grandmother whose wrinkles looked all the more charming when she smiled. At times she would make him climb down her giant wooden chest to dig out something buried under the loads of knick-knack. Then his poetic flight carries him to his grandfather who was the village blacksmith making and mending all kinds of farm implements. Two childhood lady teachers also prominently appear in his fancy. This particular poem has a huge bagful of odds and ends of the village life, which can be easily developed into a full-length novel.
As the poet breaks away from his Jagraon soil and shifts to Ludhiana, the largest and the richest of the Punjab towns, his perspective adds another dimension to his vision. Here he does his masters in English literature and rubs his shoulders with some well known writers, painters, media persons and literary commentators. Now he is more concerned with Desire and its Oedipal ramifications. He avers, "Mai ohi han/Smundar chon/Kamana rahin uthhia pani/Te use smundar 'ch/Vapis parat aia han." (I am the same water of the sea, rising and ebbing by the force of desire.)
Freud leads the poet to Einstein. He meditates over the nature of time in these lines – "Hey, kaal/Mai tainu iko pal dekh riha han/Hazaran dishawan ton/Terian akhan 'ch/Khauf, udasi, anand, guurha hanera/Te anant/Sabh ik pal 'ch kaid/...Pawe naal bannia/Sirf visual kaal." (Eh, Time, I am looking at you from thousand angles right now. I can see fear, agony, ecstasy, darkness and eternity in your eyes. Everything is detained in a trice. Only the visual time can be tied to the bedpost.)
In Savi's poetic discourse bird as a symbol occurs time and time again. In the poem 'Kabutar', he makes a very fine distinction between the wild pigeons and the domesticated ones. Both these species represent two different ways of life and two different civilizational patterns.
In Ashram Savi has tried to transcend his own limitations which may in course of time open up a new poetic panorama to be explored by this poet-painter of Punjab. Already he has gone beyond his romantic ruminations and even beyond his existential concerns. Now he is more interested in the matters associated with 'desire' as a cosmic category rather than as a wayward impulse of an individual.