An Interaction with Vivekananda through Art

Ramakrishna Math, Bengaluru

An Interaction with Swami Vivekananda through Art– a  4 days Exhibition at Ramakrishna Math, Bengaluru , 23 December to 26 December 2018.

As a part of the ongoing 125th Anniversary Celebrations of Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago Addresses, Ramakrishna Math, Bangalore organised a 4-day Creative Art Camp between 30 July and 1 August 2018. Around 35 students from 5 art institutes of Bangalore participated in this camp. The artworks comprising paintings, a clay sculpture and a wire sculpture were exhibited at the Math for 4 days from 23 to 26 December 2018. The Exhibition was inaugurated on 23 December 2018 by Sri Vilas Nayak, an internationally renowned speed painting artist.

At the inaugural function, Swami Raghuramananda welcomed the gathering of around 600 devotees and art lovers and described the positive impact the 4-day art camp had on the students. This unique experiment has also inspired other centres of the Order to take up similar art camps for the youth. This was followed by a brief video report on the art camp.

A coffee table book An Interaction with Swami Vivekananda through Art containing all the students’ artworks was released on the occasion by Swami Mangalanathananda and the chief guest, Sri Vilas Nayak.

Sri Vilas Nayak hails from Ujire, a small town near Dharmasthala in Karnataka and is a self-taught artist. Vilas started sketching at the age of 3. He quit his lucrative corporate job to follow his heart and his passion for art. While he continues to work on fine art works, his speed painting performances have caught the attention of millions of art lovers all over the world! He has been part of some of the most prestigious stages like United Nations General Assembly, India’s Got Talent, International Film Festival of India and many more events in over 23 countries.

Swami Mangalanathananda in his talk referred to Swami Vivekananda’s thoughts on art. According to Swami Vivekananda, art is a creative expression of our thoughts and potentialities which get manifested through the control of the mind and will.

Speed painting by Sri Vilas Nayak – ‘Aspiration’
Speed painting by Sri Vilas Nayak – ‘Aspiration’


Speed painting by Sri Vilas Nayak – ‘An Inspiration’
Speed painting by Sri Vilas Nayak – ‘An Inspiration’

During the inaugural function, Sri Vilas Nayak painted 2 speed paintings – Aspiration in around 6½ minutes and an Inspiration in around 7 minutes. Accompanied by a music track playing in the background, he started his painting with a few random brush strokes. As the music reached its crescendo so did the brush strokes and before we realized, there was a canvas of colours before our eyes. It was an experience which needs to be seen to be believed.

Before the inauguration of the Art Exhibition at the Sri Ramakrishna Sabhangana, Smt Kanaka Murthy, a reputed sculptor of India and a resident of Bangalore, spoke of the challenges she had faced as a woman sculptor. Smt Murthy is one of the few woman sculptors in the country working on stone. She is the recipient (in 2011) of the renowned Jakanachari state award of Karnataka conferred on talented sculptors from the state.

The Art Exhibition, over 4 days, attracted around 3000 devotees and art lovers and was a cynosure of all eyes at the Math during the period.

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