Art Unbounded: Muslim Artist carves Ganesha idols

Waqar Hussain whose miniature sculptures created out of glass has gained much fame and acclamations. Waqar specializes in sculpting Lord Ganesha’s idols, the size of which goes smaller to even 1 millimeter. The brightness, curves and molding of his crystal sculptures depict the perfection of Waqar whose art has come out so beautifully by years of hard work and passion.

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Art Unbounded: Muslim Artist carves Ganesha idolsin photo: Waqar Hussain displaying his art work, Ganesha Idols made of glass

Beauty of an art reflects the pure passion and dedication of the artist, from the biggest artifact to the smallest sculpture; size doesn’t matter for both, the art and the artist.

One such artist is Waqar Hussain whose miniature sculptures created out of glass has gained much fame and acclamations. Waqar specializes in sculpting Lord Ganesha’s idols, the size of which goes smaller to even 1 millimeter.

The brightness, curves and molding of his crystal sculptures depict the perfection of Waqar whose art has come out so beautifully by years of hard work and passion.

“It took me more than 2 years to make the Ganesha’s small idol (1 mm), now I am trying to make 15 times smaller than this one,” says Waqar who has been honored by Jain Muni Shree Tarun Sagar for his outstanding work.

Born in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, Waqar came to Udaipur at the age of 8 with his family. He was inspired by his neighbor Kalu Shah who used to make glass sculptures; Waqar started learning this art from Kalu Shah when he was 12 years old. It’s been 22 years now, the passion of sculpture making turns into his profession.

While making his first sculpture he was not sure what he was making, but eventually it took form of Lord Ganesha, considering the Hindu belief about Ganesha, he took this as blessings. Till date he has made above 2000 such idols.

Like many artists, Waqar also had to struggle in his initial times. While tallking to UT he said, “There were times when I could not even afford a decent meal at the end of day; I got a break when fortunately I came across West Zone Cultural Center (WZCC) who gave me an opportunity to showcase my art.” He was the first Indian artist who went abroad from WZCC.

Edinburg Art Exhibition is an annual event where artists are not repeated but Waquar took part for 3 consecutive years.

Art Unbounded: Muslim Artist carves Ganesha idolsHe was also honoured by H.H Arvind Singh Mewar for his tremendous work in the year 2007 with other dignitaries like A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Lata Mangeshkar and Amitabh Bachchan. All glass idols are made after melting a glass rod and then molding it in the required shape. All the sculptures made by him are hand made, any kind of tool or equipments are not used to mold a glass into proper shape. Waqar said, “It takes almost 1 hr to make one sculpture and due to the immense heat produced at the time of processing I am not able to produce in bulk. This has brought a decline in awareness about my work.” While talking about today’s generation, Waqar Hussain said, “New generation lacks patience and I believe patience is one of the most important aspects in gaining success.” Waqar Hussain had faced strong opposition by some members of his community when he had started making Ganesha’s Idols but today he is getting respect irrespective of his caste. He has indeed proved that art is above all boundaries. Art certainly has no boundaries. His art work is exhibited at Shilpgram, Udaipur.
inputs by: Sayeed Ahmed and Poonam Arora

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