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Two Exhibitions Dedicated to India Opened at the Sofia University Alma Mater Gallery

Two exhibitions, “The Mirror of the Heart” – a collection of Indian and Tibetan drawings by Lyudmila Klasanova, and the joint exhibition “India as Inspiration” by the curator Prof. Tsvetan Stoyanov, were opened at the Alma Mater Gallery of the Sofia University Rectorate.


The exhibitions were organized by the Embassy of the Republic of India to this country, the India Friendship Club, the Department of India Studies at Sofia University, and the University Cultural Center. The exhibitions will be open for visitors till April 3, 2015.

The exhibition “India as Inspiration” marks the 60ieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of India and the Republic of Bulgaria. In India’s huge expanse the artist is bound to find genuine inspiration for their emotionally moving art. Everyone, who has lived in India for some time, has something, deep in their hearts, in remembrance of the impressive diversity, the contact with the local people, its century old history and culture, ancient schools of philosophy, and magnificent nature.


The exhibition displays the new artistic quest of eminent Bulgarian painters such as Andrey Daniel, Anna Boyadzhieva, Stanislav Pamoukchiev, Lyuben Stoev, Nadezhda Kouteva, Georgi Vurlinkov, Veneta Vasileva, and Tsvetan Stoyanov. To their work are added the artistic pieces of colour and line by Plamena Dimitrova-Racheva, a research worker of Boris Georgiev’s art, Nina Rouseva, and Stoyan Dechev with a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi.


The artists are all intimately linked with India in many ways and by working on various projects. Some of the painters have put on exhibitions there, others have participated in art biennales, and yet others have had moving meetings with the Indian public and become friends of Indian culture.

Each one of the participants has their own vantage point on the expansive topic of India and its spiritual links with Bulgaria, i.e. India as reality, as remembrance, as experience, and also India as a source of inspiration, life, love, and mystery. This is India of near and far, a world with myriads of discrete faces.


The India based drawings of Lyudmila Klasanova at the Mirror of the Heart exhibition are illustrations to Vetala’s Twenty-five Stories, a translation from Sanskrit in Bulgarian of the stories of the Indian collection of short stories Vetala panchvimshati, published by the India Study Foundation “East/ West” (2014). The Tibetan drawings at the exhibition show some of the major deities of the Buddhist pantheon; the paintings follow the traditional methods of Tibetan iconography and do not adhere to a specific artistic style.


The name of the exhibition “The Mirror of the Heart” has become a source of inspiration of a book with the same title by Professor Alexander Fedotov (Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski Press, 1998 г.), dedicated to Tibetan poetry and its links with the poetic norms of the poetry of India. The literary and artistic cannon, to which thousands of anonymous men of art from India and Tibet adhered, is associated with a mirror which reflects their inner spiritual world. Another mirror can be added to it: this is the mirror of the heart, of the quest of the individual, of the personal experience of the Road. What happens when two mirrors are put opposite to each other? Then infinity becomes visible.


Lyudmila Klasanova holds a Bachelor’s degree in “Book and Printed Graphics” from the National Academy of Arts, an MA degree in East Asian Culture, and a Ph. D. in Indian and Tibetan literature and culture from Sofia University. In her capacity as a part time lecturer at the Centre for Eastern Languages and Studies she reads courses in Buddhist Art, Tibetan Language and Culture and the Woman Image in the Buddhist Tradition of India and Tibet. She is also a curator at the National Museum Complex.