Then I met this teacher of mine shri Chandra
Bal and he is about sixty years of age, an old man, very tiny
He has an art school called the modern school of art and when I
paint, I go to him, if I am in Bareilly. I go to his school regularly
as a student. People ask me what do you do here, they think I am
a teacher, but I tell them I am a student and they don't believe
it. But it is true, I go there, I sit there in his presence, at
his lotus feet and learn from him. I paint, I sketch - he likes
my sketching very much - and he says that he cannot sketch like
that, but I think that he, if he tries, he can. But I cannot paint
like him, that is why I go to him. He is such a beautiful painter.
So nice that I cannot do as good work as he is doing in painting,
so I learn from him.
I think there are very many people who know more than
me. I know one person who I was very much inspired by and he was
called Shehem Habathar. He was a teacher of sculpture in Lucknow
college and I used to go and sit with him, hours and hours together
before I became a sculptor. And I saw him painting, all these forms;
he made fantastic Saraswati, goddesses of learning and beauty, he
made her sculptures, and Shukundala. He is still alive and serves
as a teacher of art in the Lucknow college.
Bigoy Chakra Wartie
When I was a student of Lucknow university doing my
masters in Urdu at that time I came across one person who brought
me very near painting. His name was Bigoy Chakra Wartie.
Dhar Maha Patra
Then there was a teacher of art shri Dhar Maha Patra,
he was a sculptor coming from the tradition, from the family of
the person who made the Ajanta and the traditional style which is
2500 years old. As a sculptor there was no teacher except my own
eyes which were mostly sitting with sri Dhar Maha Patra and Bigoy
Chakra Wartie, two sculptors of my country, watching them sculpt,
Avatar Singh Panmar
Then I was also in company with Avatar Singh Panmar
who was working with modern art, and he was a sculptor and a painter
and he made fantastic drawings and paintings, but very much modern.
Then Nager, a very good painter.
Texts extracted from the interview of Harish
Johari with Louwrien Wijers, called "Shri Harish Johari
talks about his work as a painter", taken 27 oktober 1978.