“Spirits of India” opens on July 6 at Mundos Cafe in Monterey. Due to popular demand, we have extended the opening reception from 4 to 6PM and have added the opportunity to have dinner with the artists, starting at 6PM. There is limited seating. Please reserve at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spirits-of-india-artists-reception-dinner-with-artists-tickets-35870999124

  1. How did the show come together?

The show, “Spirits of India”, came together as a result of Chester and Mary joining the travel photography workshops (www.incredibletravelphotos.com) organized by Oliver to discover “hidden gems” of India. Traveling for a few weeks at a time, we discovered how the rich history of India is still vividly present in their culture and daily life.

The focus of our photographic endeavor was influenced by the book “A Passage to India” by E.M. Forster, who makes frequent references to animals in India. These animals gave impetus for growth, served as a conduit of love and unity and symbolized Indian culture. Through the variety of animals portrayed in this novel, we begin to comprehend the complexity and spirit of India itself.

“Spirits of India” is a compilation of images of Elephants and Marwari Horses, depicted in various artistic styles. Chester’s journalistic views of the cultural interaction between man and beast draw the viewer in; Mary’s equine photography expertise (www.maryaiu.com) give the viewer the feel of the power of the animals and their unique inward-turning ear tips; and Oliver’s fine art representation (www.oliverklinkphotography.com) ties the historical India with the joyful bound of humans and animals. Collectively, we were inspired by past and present stories of these two animals and concerned about what the future holds for them.

  1. How did the venue come to be chosen?

When we first discussed the concept of the show, we were very interested in displaying our images at a venue, where it was accessible to everybody, a place where people come regularly, where they eat, where they mingle with friends, where they share their stories, where they create a “local” culture. The idea was to find a local venue that is an extension of our theme.

Chester came with the idea of Mundos Café. The location, owns by Fernando Mundos, caters to regular customers who enjoy the food, the atmosphere, and camaraderie. The exhibition space is conducive to discussion and return visits as the place is open daily from 10AM – 7PM (5PM on weekends).

The more time you see “Spirits of India” the more subtleties you will notice in the work, the interconnections between the three artists, their though process. The show transports you to a subconscious level, where you can feel the spirits of the animals.

All three artists have been extensively exhibited, with shows at the Center for Photographic Art (Carmel), Pacific Grove Art Center (Pacific Grove), Carmel Foundation Gallery (Carmel), various galleries in San Francisco, Hayward, Palo Alto and San Jose, and even as far as Sacramento, New York, Buenos Aires, Paris, Switzerland.

We are very proud of premiering the “Spirits of India” at Mundos Café.

  1. Why these two animal subjects? 

 Elephants are the preeminent symbols of strength, wisdom, intelligence and royalty. In the 4,000 years since domestication, elephants significantly shaped human history in areas ranging from warfare, religion and culture to the economy. They have been worshiped in the Hindu religion and throughout the folktales of Ganesh, the elephant-headed God of wisdom and intellect.

As in the Ganesh folktale, the survival of elephants is in great danger due to the pressures from hunting, habitat loss and other human–elephant conflicts. From an historical context, their cultural stature today seems diminished as well. Are these animals, once adorned in regality, now simply reduced to a commercial role in tourism?

The Marwari horses are still revered in the India culture. Native to the Marwari region (Rajasthan, India), the Marwari horse is a rare breed known for its hardiness. A descendant of native Indian ponies crossed with Arabian horses, the Marwari are uniquely recognized by their inward-turning ear tips.

Historically the horses were used to combat elephants and were also instrumental in shaping Indian history. Their breeding followed such a strict selective process that they were referred to as divine beings, known on the battlefield for their bravery and loyalty. After near extinction following the arrival of the British in India in the early 1600’s, the Marwari horses are now making a comeback. What does their future hold for them?

We share the beauty of these animals and the connection that still exists between these magnificent beasts and mankind. Our hope is their existence will continue to thrive as we share this planet as one.

More information can be found at: http://www.oliverklinkphotography.com/Exhibits/Mundos