K Jagjit Singh

The meeting ground for artist K Jagjit Singh and a lady home maker with her renowned French estate developer Jean Louis Deniot took place when she stood facing a vast open field against the backdrop of the Aravalli hills contemplating building her bungalow there on the lines of a Lutyen’s structure of the colonial era.

When in Ladakh, as also elsewhere, this artist-soldier carried an extra item in his military gear – his camera. The miles that he had trod and the views that charmed him, were therefore immortalised by his lens eye and later, when the uniform had been hung up, these images became the seeds that inspired his artistic bone. Instead of following the well-trodden path of becoming an amateur photographer sharing his skills with the fraternity at large, Jagjit Singh decided instead of sharing his lure of the mountains through his personal understanding of them, via his love of painting.

Known for his painting virtually ring-side views of pristine Mountainscape, also brought him other laurels. The space above the main wall in the lounge of the prime minister’s residence, where diplomatic and other dignitaries are received, was adorned with another of his creations, celebrating the jagged contours of these rocks in sweeping brush strokes that took in the panoramic spread of the Indus River in their complete authenticity, coupled with an imagination that explored the texture and plane of its geometry. This combination added to it a contemplative serenity that the camera facsimile had been unable to reproduce. And when the art connoisseur politician Amarinder Singh fancied a ‘powerful work’ to adorn his official space it was to K Jagjit that he turned.