Nek Chand 1924– 2015

The former Indian road inspector, whose 25-acre sculpture garden in Chandigarh now attracts thousand of visitors a day, has died, aged 90

Nek Chand, Rock Garden of Chandigarh, seated men. Photo © Raw Vision

Nek Chand, the self-taught creator of Chandigarh's famous Rock Garden, has died aged 90, India's The Tribune reports. Using found materials, including rocks and broken glass bangles, Chand first began making his figurative sculptures in secret, in the 1950s, in a forest clearing on the outskirts of the city. When his work came to the attention of the authorities, support for his sculptures led to official recognition for the Rock Garden and it opened to the public in 1976, with Chand given a paid position as its director, a role he held until his death. The garden, now containing some 2,000 sculptuers of dancers, musicians, birds and animals, along with several artificial waterfalls, is maintained by the Nek Chand Foundation.

Awards Chand has received for his work include  the Médaille Grand Vermeil de la Ville de Paris and the Padam Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honours. Government offices were closed on Friday, as a mark of respect.

For more on Nek Chand see Raw Vision Magazine.

16 June 2015