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Tithee bird



Jangarh Singh Shyam


1961 - 2001


The original inhabitants of India are most correctly described by the umbrella term Adivasi. Under this term a large number of communities exist with different social, religious and artistic practises. Jangarh Singh Shyam was born into the community of Gond people who are one of the largest indigenous groups in India.

During the 1980’s the Bharat Bhavan arts centre located in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh encouraged local and international curators and artists to visit Adivasi communities as a way of promoting their cultural practises.
Raised within a family of bards, Jangarh Singh Shyam’s talent as an artist was 'discovered' by the renowned Indian modernist painter J Swaminath. As a young man he made the transition from village life to work in Bhopal and went on to feature in major international exhibitions.

In the village environment Gond paintings were painted directly onto walls to illustrate folk lore and celebrate important social events. On the international scene, Jangarh Singh Shyam was able to translate the songs and stories of his people into exquisitely rendered paintings on paper. 'Tithee bird' is typical of his prodigious style. Vibrant, colourful, dynamic and expressive, his work gives life and vision to a world of myriad myths animated by the animals, birds, mountains and deities of his village home.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, April 2016


Other Title

Waterfowl and Snake

Place where the work was made

Mandla District Madhya Pradesh India



Media category


Materials used

poster colour on paper


55.8 x 70.9 cm sheet

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.l., pencil " [not translated, Devanagari script, language Hindi] 1991".


Purchased 1993


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Jangarh Singh Shyam

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

Referenced in 3 publications


Victoria Lynn, India Songs: multiple streams in contemporary Indian art, Sydney, 1993, 40, 41(colour illus.), 54. cat no. 42

Ann Macarthur, Inspirations - Art ideas for primary and middle years, Carlton South, 2004, cover (colour illus.) , 3 (colour illus.). card 3

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Contemporary Painting in Urban and Village India', Sydney, 2003, 56 (colour illus.).