THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING presents
THE KINGDOM OF GODS AND GODDESSES by NEK
CHAND (SRI NEK
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Last summer The Museum of Everything proudly presented a solo installation of artwork by the legendary environmental and architectural autodidact, Sri Nek Chand Saini, as part of Hayward Gallery's Alternative Guide to the Universe.
Nek Chand is a mythic figure in the history of twentieth century Indian art.
Born in 1924, he fled his village home at the time of the Partition to settle in Chandigarh - the modernist state capital being designed by European architect, Le Corbusier.
It was there, with no background in art-making, that the roads engineer began to accumulate stones and waste materials in the forest outside the city. The project was to consume the rest of Nek Chand's life. Within 16 years it had evolved into a complex series of interwoven gardens, where groups of figurative sculptures and architectural follies formed a Kingdom of Gods and Goddesses.
Upon its discovery, it was too much for the local authorities to bear. Nek Chand's forbidden secret was threatened with immediate destruction. Yet the artist's creativity and persistence overcame the legal and political challenges. Rallying national and international support, the Rock Garden as it was now called - was saved; and today is one of the most visited cultural attractions in the country.
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