In keeping with India's established tradition of meeting rest violence with non violence and destruction with renewed creativity, Habiart Foundation (India) and Siddhartha Art Gallery (Nepal) jointly staged a creative protest via the medium of visual art. Titled Sphote,a Sanskrit word meaning creative sound the regional workshops aimed to counter the act of violence and demolition (Visphote) by painting on the spot, images related to peace.

Art as a Medium

Visual images are as powerful as reality and, once seen, cannot be easily destroyed. Thus the paintings designed by the artists are also a testament to the empathy felt by the global community with all those have suffered. In the words of an eminent artist, Satish Gujral, "art is the last defence of man against human follies."


Workshops were held in prime centers of contemporary art, namely - New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Shantiniketan, and Nepal.

Know more about the participating artists under this project
Beginning 2001 April and ending October 2002, the project involved one hundred and fifty Indian artists and designers, along with nine artists from Nepal. Fourteen peace panels (each consisting of nine canvases measuring one square foot) were designed as expression of peace. Renowned writers Ashok Vajpai, Chitra Mudgal, Dr. Saryu Doshi, Dr. B.K. Modi, Gagan Gil, Ian Baker, Ramesh Shah along with eminent personalities, S.K. Sharma, Nirmala Deshpande, Shivraj Patil, Lhatsun Rimpoche participated in the regional workshops. Peace song was rendered by the famous singer Soma Ghosh. His excellency Shri K.R. Narayan (Ex-President of India), Smt. Najma Heptulla (Deputy Chairperson - Rajya Sabha), Shri Digvijay Singh (CM, MP), Mr. Feaoder Starcevic (Director UN Information Centre) and His Excellency Mr. Q.A.M.A. Rahim - SAARC Secretary General were presented rice paper drawings and peace panels as a gesture of solidarity.

Individual Support

Kalyani Chawla, Kaamna Prasad (New Delhi), Katayun Saklat (Kolkata), Janak Jhankar Narzary (SantiNiketan), Sangeeta Thapa (Nepal), Yusuf (Bhopal), Suruchi Chand (Mumbai).

Partnering Organizations / Institutions

The project was supported by the Bharat Bhawan (Bhopal), Genesis Art Gallery (Kolkata), ICCR (Hyderabad), Kala Bhawan (Shantiniketan), Katayun Gallery (Kolkata), Modi Foundation (New Delhi), Montage Art (New Delhi), National Gallery of Modern Art (Mumbai), Siddhartha Art Gallery (Nepal) and the Parliamentarian Forum for Human Development (New Delhi).

Sphote : Exhibited At

example1 World Economic Forum 2006
Habiart Foundation displayed a topical art show titled - "Sphote - A Creative Protest Against Terror" at the presitigious World Ecomomic Forum's Annual Meeting at Davos, Switzerland in January 2006. Borne out of workshops aimed at countering global acts of violence and terrorism by painting on-the-spot images, the exhibition included peace panels and rice paper drawings that spoke with a transcedent voice. Over 150 eminent artists, writers and social leaders participated in the project in the Indian Subcontinent.

Sphote : A creative protest against terror opened at the prestigious World Economic Forum Annual Meet at DOVOS at Switzerland in January 2006.
Media coverage of the event in The Financial Express, January 29, 2006.
example1 Courtesy a new initiative, India Everywhere, the nation's presence at Davos was a spectacular one this year. While the industrial bigwigs were all aglow about the rapid strides India is taking economically, the diverse cultural arena was not ignored either ..... Read More
example1Presentation of Rice Paper Drawings in 2002, 2004

Sri K. R. Narayanan (Former President of India) , Sri Digvijay Singh (Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh), Shri Narendra Modi (Gujarat Chief Minister), Smt. Najma Heptulla (Deputy Chairperson Rajya Sabha), Feoder Starcevi (Director UN Information Centre) Shri Mahendra Chaudhry (ex Prime Minister of Fiji), and the SAARC Secretary General were presented rice paper drawings as a gesture of solidarity.
example1Presentation of Peace Panels to His Holiness, The Dalai Lama in December 2002

On 18th December 2002 Habiart Foundation presented a peace panel (depicting the Budha) from the special collection to His Holiness, the Delai Lama at Habiart Centre, New Delhi. His Holiness welcomed the creative and non-violent movement undertaken by the foundation.
example1Exhibition at the Parliament Annex at New Delhi in 2002

On 13th December 2002, the exhibition of peace panels opened in the Parliament Annex, New Delhi. Among those present were the Hon?ble Vice President Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhwat, Shri L.K. Advani, Shri Manmohan Singh, Shri Karan Singh, Smt Najma Heptulla, Shri Manohar Joshi along with hundred parliamentarians.
A signature peace panel was painted on the spot by eminent artists Smt. Anjolie Ela Menon, Jatin Das, Dhiraj Chowdhury, Suresh Chowdhury, Alka Mathur, Fokhrul Islam (Bangladesh) and others.