Rajendra Kumar Shyam


Rajendra Kumar Shyam is a Gond artist from Madhya Pradesh, India, whose canvasses are filled with perfectly symmetric, dense compositions which narrate elaborate stories from Gond culture and depict scenes from rural life. As a child, Rajendra was fascinated by murals and would actively participate in dabbing the walls of his home with cow dung, decorating them with floral patterns and designs alongside his mother and sisters.

Rajendra lost his elder brother when he was still studying, and had to drop out of school as he had to fend for the family and start working. Every once in a while, going deep into the forests to fetch fuel wood, Rajendra and his companions would spend the night with people from other villages, around a fire, listening to stories narrated by an elderly man in the group. Today, these enchanting stories take visual form in Rajendra’s vibrant and evocative artworks.

After getting married, Rajendra Kumar Shyam worked for his uncle and acclaimed Gond artist, Jangarh Singh Shyam, in Bhopal. Following this, he worked many jobs as a labourer at the Indira Gandhi National Human Museum, Bhopal. But he was still passionate about art, and would paint in the evenings, after work. Rajendra was encouraged by contemporary artist Shampa Shah to pursue art as a career, and he took up painting as his full-time profession in 2007.


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