Nek Chand - A Hidden World

This is the premier exhibition of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s collection of 49 original sculptures by legendary outsider artist Nek Chand. This exhibit looks at his work in four parts: collection, conservation, creation, and context. Using photographs of the Rock Garden in Chandigarh, India, to help place Chand’s site specific sculptures in their original context, the exhibition incorporates the culture, colors and materials of Chandigarh in the gallery. In addition, the exhibition features a series of films featuring first person interviews with the artist and others that will help put Chand’s work and our collection in context with the mission of MuseumLab. 

Because the sculptures were originally located outside, they were unprotected from the elements and require some level of repair. As a result, curators decided to make conservation an integral part of the immersive gallery experience. Professional curators and teaching artists will work on the sculptures in the gallery throughout the run of the exhibition, and programs are offered that allow visitors to learn first hand from experts and practice conservation techniques along side the professionals.

The exhibition also includes several hands-on activities, including making sculptures and mosaic tiles using found objects and broken pottery, using similar techniques that the artist and his apprentices did when creating the original Rock Garden. Visitors can also learn more Chand’s art, life story and Indian culture through books, videos and observational drawing all provided in the immersive gallery.

Anne Fullenkamp