Stuti Agarwal interviews Siddhant Shah

Tell us about Abhaas. How did the initiative come about?

Abhaas is for all to ‘view’, even the visually impaired, as each painting has a tactile representation. In Greece, I came across a tactile mus­eum. I decided to bring that.

What are the things to keep in mind when making tactile representations?

The first is to keep it close to the original. The size, texture and medium correspond, and we add music and smell to help create environment.

Any difficulties?

Technology, the lack of it. Also, Indian paintings being replete with figures and elements.

You have a braille booklet to go with it.

It is not just translations in braille. We also have tactile samples and swatches of med­iums and drawing styles to help educate the visitor.

Take us through one such experience of tactile art

There is a painting by Nandalal Bose of an esraj player. The visitors first exp­erience it through an esraj piece. Burning incense adds to the mood.

You also have block-printing as part of the exhibition.

Block-printing is the most tactile art. One can feel both the paint and the block.

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