We all have our dreams. The self-taught creator Nek Chand made his dream come true by building a fairytale garden: his creation is said to be second most visited site in India, after the Taj Mahal.
In his position as a Roads Inspector, during the fifties he joined the staff in charge of erecting the capital of Pendjab, as conceived by the French architect of Swiss nationality Le Corbusier. Every evening, having carried out his professional tasks of the day, he would bicycle to the Himalayan foothills to gather stones that, to him, were endowed with a soul. He also garnered sundry used objects and bits of rubbish he found in the dumps and building sites of the prestigious metropolis under construction: ceramic shards, electric plugs, bicycle parts. In a clearing he took over for his own use, he secretly assembled these myriad bits and pieces, transforming them into sculptures representing human and animal figures. Today, his kingdom peopled with gods and goddesses covers a site that stretches over twelve hectares (30 acres). Here visitors can explore deep moats, hills and twisting pathways, patios and waterfalls - a symphony of stones, mortar and broken dishware.
Nek Chand’s Rock Garden is a dazzling work of art, marked by extraordinary inventiveness and freedom of expression.
The present exhibition in Lausanne is made possible through the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (under Switzerland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bern), Wegelin & Co. Private Bankers, and French-speaking Switzerland’s Couleur 3 radio station; it is under the patronage of the Embassy of India in Switzerland and the Embassy of Switzerland in India; and it is sponsored by the French and Swiss UNESCO Commissions.
From November 4, 2005, to May 7, 2006
Vernissage on November 3, 2005, at 6.5 pm
Francesca Gemnetti, Philippe Lespinasse, John Maizels et Lucienne Peiry, Nek Chand's Outsider Art, Paris, Flammarion, 2005.
Le plus grand artiste du monde, de Philippe Lespinasse, 50 min., Atlantic Télévision, 2005.