Kashmiri Artist To Lead ‘Team India’ in US Snow Sculpture Championship-2017

Kashmiri Artist To Lead ‘Team India’ in US Snow Sculpture Championship-2017

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Snow Sculpture camp organised by E-PLanner at Gulmarag in 2014.

SRINAGAR: A young Kashmiri artist has been selected among four participants of team India for the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championship 2017 to be held in United States. Pertinently four young artists from India including a Kashmiri artist have been selected to represent team India first time in any International snow sculpture festival.

The championship is being organized by the International Snow Sculpture Organizing Committee (ISSCOC) form last 26 years in Breckenridge, Colorado, US. The four artists to represent team India are Zahoor Din Lone, Sunil Kushwaha, Ravi Prakash, Mridul Kumar Upadhyay.

Zahoor Din Lone who hails from a small village of Pattan Singhpora in north Kashmir has pursued Masters in Fine arts from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi after completing his Bachelors in Fine arts from University of Kashmir.

Zahoor Din Lone
Zahoor Din Lone

Zahoor will be leading a first ever Indian four member team to United States for this Snow Sculpture Championship. Zahoor has earlier participated and gained experience of snow sculpture from ‘Snow Fiesta-2014’, organized by the Eplanner event management and J&K Tourism in Gulmarag.  

“It was due to the ‘Snow Fiesta’ camp that I got an international opportunity and an opportunity to lead team India at international platform in United States,” he thanks to Eplanner.

“I submitted work samples of the sculpture camp in which I participated in 2014. That camp really helped me to grab this opportunity. In valley we have enough talent but lacking platform to explore”, he said.

The event Snow Fiesta organized by Eplanner in 2014 was also the first ever such event in entire South Asia.

However, due to callous attitude of state government this event management company winded ups its operations in valley.

“We suffered here for want to support from the government. They instead cooperating and encouraging us created multiple troubles due to which we were forced to stop organizing such events in future,” said the official of the company, wishing not to be named.

Meanwhile, the ISSCOC receives hundreds of fantastic submissions across the world to the event among just sixteen teams are chosen. Interestingly this year for the first time a team from India has been chosen from among these fine submissions for the world class snow event at Breckenridge in US.

Sunil Kushwaha,

A young national sculpture artist has his sculptures based on perfectly combined concepts of social issues, criticism and aestheticism. He belongs to a rural village of Singrauli, one of Madhya Pradesh’s Maoist-hit districts. He says, Art kept him engaged during unrest situations. In his works, repetition and rhythm implies dynamic, complex narratives, at times playful or urgent. His fine sculptures are ‘Stages of Desire (Medium: black stone-glass)’ and ‘Voyage’ (Medium: stone-metal sculpture).Sunil earned a Master’s of Fine Arts (Sculpture) from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

 Ravi Prakash

A young national sculpture artist describes his artwork as an expressive representation of his social experience. Ravi belongs to a very backward region of Bihar and he took art as the medium of social and economic development. The rawness can be seen in his work. He can work in many other materials but prefers to work in metal wire; an unconventional, flexible and long lasting material. Weaving and molding the wire to give a physical form shows his hard work. His fine sculptures include ‘Milkman’, ‘Mother Nature in Pain’ and ‘Soulmate’ (the other half). He is a double Gold Medalist, both in Bachelors of Fine Arts (Sculpture) from Allahabad University and Masters of Fine Arts (Sculpture) from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

Mridul Kumar Upadhyay

 A design engineer, commonwealth correspondent and photographer. He has been very passionate about empowering youth through art and been advocating for young artists on national and international platforms. Mridul was conferred several international awards for his sustainable development work. He feels that art and snow-based tourism is a perfect way to channelize the local young people’s energies and give them the chance of proper employment in rural India and Kashmir valley. Mridul hopes this team will create entirely a new culture of youth engagement in snow art.

These artists said that India gets snow every year but they don’t find culture, recognition and appreciation for snow sculpting in India, unlike many countries of the world. They said they as a team, hope to create entirely a new culture of youth engagement in snow art.

However, in its 27th year, the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships will bring together 16 teams representing 12 countries from around the world to present intricate works of snow art. In the championship, Four-person teams will carve 20-ton, 12-foot-tall blocks of snow without the use of power tools, internal support structures, or colorants – just the ingenuity of the sculptors and a medium that lends itself, if only temporarily, to the persuasion of hand tools.

Snow artists from around the world will compete January 24-28, 2017 in Breckenridge at the International Snow Sculpture Championships. Sculptures, which remain on display through February 5, 2017, start as 12-foot-tall, 20+ ton blocks of snow. Teams from all over the world will compete and using only hand tools, artists achieve finished pieces across five days (65 hours) of sculpting in this one of a kind event.

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Irfan Quraishi is a Srinagar based Broadcast & Multimedia journalist in Indian Kashmir. He has previously worked as senior Correspondent for Day & Night News, Kashmir Times. Quraishi is founding Editor of “KASHMIR PATRIOT” launched in 2016.
He has acquired over seven years of journalistic experience in Print, Electronic and Digital media. He had been a fellow of Thomson Reuters Foundation London and RNTC Europe.
He has done a great deal of reporting and analysis on diverse issues of public importance including Human Rights, Media, Security, Politics, Health, Tourism, Education and Current Affairs.
His contributions have been published in The Hoot, The Quint, The Citizen, and many other national media organizations.

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