a r t  f o r  e a r t h


m a n a v  g u p t a

seeks to address local issues across the world with a global perspective of connecting people of mega metropolis and their waters. Transforming spaces. And seeking to bring a change. Differently. For world peace humanity and sustainable development.

The artist is creating a vibrant and alive as well as site specific ‘arth museum’ as a LIVE repository of art and discourse that seeks to open channels of hitherto unexplored communications through art – ALSO WORLD’S FIRST TRAVELLING MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY PUBLIC ART FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT –  HAILED AS A SOLO BIENNALE’  

Its a spectacular scale and timeline of a repository of innovation, ground breaking ideas, research and creativity that makes it a formidable combination of rich intangible heritage married to avant garde thought of lasting value. Born out of twenty two years of his art practice since his first solo.Presented gently. As a museum laboratory of nature. He excavates his environmental installations as ‘hymns of clay’ from philosophies and wisdom of a way of life from ancient civilisations and Vedic scriptures. And embraces nature and architecture in a never seen before, cutting edge art practice, within a mega city. A pioneering movement that addresses the most burning issue threatening humanity in a local ecosystem, by one of India’s foremost contemporary artists, that reinvents quintessentially Indian rural clay pottery into a path breaking cutting edge international language. 

With DIALOGUES AT THE WATERFRONT‘ series, right at his waterfront itself. Within the Travelling Museum. In the heart of the city.

‘arth’, (pronounced ‘earth’,) Manav Gupta’s brainchild of two decades, draws from the Devanagri script of ‘arth’ meaning ‘wealth’ and ‘meaning’. The artist explores both, in the context of earth and its resources, as our true wealth while on this planet and urges us to ‘stop a while’ and lead a life with environment consciousness. And he does that by weaving pottery as monumental artworks that then form a bedrock of activity, for people to conglomerate and think beyond.In this movement, earthen lamps (“diyas”), local cigar (“chilam”), earthen cups (“kullar”), become metaphors and idioms of sustainability, context, perception and treatment of the rivers and waters of lands where the artist’s research and experience together form the story of ‘The River’, ‘The Beehives Garden’, ‘rain’, ‘Time Machine, ‘Noah’s Ark’ as well as engaging people to participate in the process of innovation and engagement with art that unleashes the mind to new possibilities.  Simultaneously evolving new ways of repurposing the traditional to avant garde.

E X C A V A T I O N S   I N  H Y M N S   O F   C L A Y 


Arth’s manifestation in clay ‘excavations in hymns of clay’ started its journey in Pretoria, South Africa, hosted by the National Museum and Indian High Commission in 2013, leading to the creation of site specific versions at every location in India and research dialogues and engagements through discourses lectures at USA and U.K. – the success of which can be measured by the resounding critical acclaim, hundreds and thousands of footfalls and by the public demand at almost every space for extending the exhibits and demand for more –

As an extension and outreach of BRICS Summit in Pretoria, then Cape Town to Grahams town, 2013. Aerocity, New Delhi, 2014. India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, 2015; Lectures and dialogues and research at Minneapolis, Des Moines. New York, Miami, U.K., Old Fort, Delhi, 2015; DLF Mall of India, Noida as the Yamuna Project in 2017, followed by a prototype of his arth Permanent Museum at Amrita Shergill Marg, New Delhi from 2017 to 2018. And from there, back to back, the 2018 edition hosted by IGNCA, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, from World Environment Day last year to December 2018. Embracing 23 acres of its lawns. Now a movement.


conceptualised curated and choreographed by the artist

brings various stake holders of society at the ‘RAIN’ and river waterfronts 
Dialogue and Discourse of policy makers, 
leading lights from

  • Industry and Commerce

  • Government

  • Art & Culture

  • Media 

  • Educational Institutions

  • Social Anthropologists

  • Medical practitioners

  • General Public.

In it you will discover how everyone becomes a protagonist in the artist’s intelligently conceptualised, curated and choreographed events at the waterfront of clay. 

Music, dance, poetry flows and solutions are sought, to be excavated.  Even as one element depicts another  – clay as water.  

With thousands of students from Delhi NCR’s leading educational institutions who have already visited, hundreds of thousand public footfalls at different locations, to a tooth picked audience of diplomats, media, distinguished panel of speakers, luminaries and who’s who from all walks of life, films, dance, music, poetry, story telling, theatre, photography, film screenings, yoga , meditations, chantings, lighting of lamps and spot performances, all coming together to be a part of the change, to ideate new thoughts and evolve a new vision,  all along espousing a grand new view of contemporary art with its matrix and structure of ground breaking transformation of space and ideas this is one movement that has moved from a small shrinking river to 27 acres of an excavated Museum in five years . 

It is a call to people from across boundaries – having covered significant ground, with a pioneering vision of a single artist to add his drop in the ocean. 


South Africa | 2013

Pretoria | Cape Town | The Shrinking River

New Delhi, India | 2015

India Habitat Centre | River Waterfront

United States | 2015

Minneapolis, Des Moines, New York

Uttar Pradesh, India | 2017

DLF Mall of India | Yamuna Project

New Delhi, India | 2018

Ministry of Culture | Art for Earth