#61 MOSA – Museum of Sacred Art – The importance of the Visual Arts in ISKCON
The Museum of Sacred Art is an international visual arts project within ISKCON based in Radhadesh. It strives to promote ISKCON art in Temples, give ISKCON artists a platform to show their art and present Devotional and Spiritual Art from India in the West to enhance the preaching efforts of ISKCON. In this seminar we will present the different projects that MOSA is working on and how it can help ISKCON augment its preaching by adding the visual arts to its philosophical message: through books, temples, museums, etc.
We will also present one case study: a current exhibit presently being held in MOSA called, Aksharayoga – Sacred Calligraphy. This show allowed a devotee to express his artistic talents in a devotional way that will enhance the spiritual experience of Devotees as well as non-devotees.
Mahaprabhu Dasa – born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1963. Son of a well-known artist Jose Gurvich. Studied Political Science at Syracuse University, USA. Joined ISKCON in Paris in 1982. Took initiation from Bhagavan dasa in 1983. Has done Sankirtana in France for 4 years and in 1987 moved to Belgium. Has performed many services in ISKCON and at present is ISKCON’s Communications Europe Minister and Director of the Museum of Sacred Art -MOSA- based in Radhadesh. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Hindu Forum of Europe and Belgium and is the President of Bhaktivedanta College. He also runs a Museum in Montevideo, Uruguay called Museo Gurvich dedicated to the life and works of his father.
Jayant Silva is an artist and computer scientist by education. He explores sacred themes in Indian scriptures through calligraphy. He primarily works with ink, watercolour and gouache on paper in a number of languages such as Sanskrit, Bengali, Tamil and Marathi. Besides these traditional media, he also explores the making of letter forms using embroidery, engraving, embossing, cutting and folding on a number of surfaces such as wood, metal, cloth, leaves, paper mache etc. In these works the emphasis is on the letter forms which are developed with sensitivity to the medium in which he is working. To achieve this, he uses a number of scripts such as Siddham, Modi, Bengali, Ranjana, Devanagari and Tamil. Another unique aspect of his work is the use of algorithmic patterns generated by a computer. At present he is doing service at the Bhaktivedanta Institute in Mumbai and he teaches University courses on the Siddham script. His work is also influenced by western artists like John Stevens, and Werner Schneider as well as eastern calligraphers such as Hassan Massoudy and Eduard Dimasov.