Book spills the beans on Nek Chand’s ‘Secret Kingdom’
The incredible story of the world’s largest visionary environment: the Rock Garden of Chandigarh, kept secret by self-taught Indian artist and sculptor Nek Chand for fifteen years.
Published: 29th April 2018 09:58 AM | Last Updated: 29th April 2018 09:58 AM | A+A A-
CHANDIGARH: The incredible story of the world’s largest visionary environment: the Rock Garden of Chandigarh, kept secret by self-taught Indian artist and sculptor Nek Chand for fifteen years, is the theme of Chicago-based author Barb Rosenstock’s new book. The book, titled A Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, Changing India and a Hidden World of Art, complemented by Claire A Nivola’s water colour illustrations is a captivating biographical narrative.
Rosenstock, known for his The Camping Trip That Changed America, sent a copy of the book along with a letter signed by him to the son of late Nek Chand, Anuj Saini. Speaking to The Sunday Standard, Anuj Saini said, “Rosenstock had consulted the Nek Chand Foundation for research purposes earlier and now his work— the book is out for sale. I am told that the book will be made available for children in schools across the US.”
“The Chandigarh Administration too has plans to buy the book in large numbers to be made available at the libraries of schools in the city,’’ says Saini. “We are currently working on a plan to construct a 1,000 square feet building with the memorabilia of my father (Nek Chand)—including books in a private 300 acres golf course in Gurugram. As many as 15 sculptures have been sent for the purpose and more will be sent soon.”
Story behind the magnificent Rock Garden
Nek Chand recycled materials collected from demolition sites around the city into his own vision of the divine kingdom of Sukrani, choosing a gorge in a forest near Sukhna Lake for his work. Chand was able to hide his work for 15 years before it was discovered by the authorities in 1975. By this time, it had grown into a 13-acre complex of interlinked courtyards, each filled with hundreds of pottery-covered concrete sculptures of dancers, musicians, and animals.