Laghuhari Das’s most recent works in both art and altars.
Laghuhari Das, a multi-disciplined artist passionate about creativity, believes that art is a universal language that can bring people together and foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for one another. Through his diverse artistic endeavors and his current focus on creating altars for devotees and temples, Laghuhari aims to empower fellow devotees and establish a training program that promotes artistic expression and community building within the greater ISKCON society.
Born and raised in a modest household in South Africa, Laghuhari discovered his love for art at a young age. Escaping into the world of creativity provided solace from the challenges of life. His journey as an artist started with puppet shows, gaining devotees’ recognition and becoming his signature work within the ISKCON community.
Over the years, Laghuhari has explored various artistic mediums, but it was during the global lockdown that he “reinvented” himself. Unable to continue with puppet shows and desiring to pursue more profound and serious work, he turned his attention to crafting altars. This shift allowed him to explore new creative avenues and reflected his personal growth and evolving artistic aspirations.
“I’d like to do more overarching work working alongside children,” Laghuhari shared. By creating altars, he hopes to contribute to the devotional experience by building a training center where devotees can learn this art and more. His vision extends beyond his artistic endeavors; he imagines a community of devotees actively engaging in the arts inclusively and working together to build a more beautiful world for the pleasure of Krishna and the devotees.
Laghuhari emphasizes the importance of art for both communication and the exchanging of ideas. He believes that art can transcend the limitations of spoken words and foster understanding on a deeper level. By engaging in practical arts as a communal activity, he believes we can master ourselves in this current age of the sudra. By doing so, the devotee community can develop a shared language that bridges gaps and strengthens Krishna-conscious relationships. He envisions a collective engagement in the arts that extends beyond mere decoration – one that is an essential part of society, a reflection of the soul and our humanity.
“We need to bring those languages into the arena of public debate and have a real-time questions and answers session through the work of our hands,” Laghuhari explained. By encouraging more individuals to embrace artistic expression, he aims to challenge the current participation rate imbalance in the creative realm, where the perception is that being an artist is reserved for a select few. The community can reclaim its creative voice and reshape how art is perceived and utilized through widespread engagement in the arts.
Drawing inspiration from the vibrant protest culture in South Africa, Laghuhari reflects on the relationship between devotional art and protest art. He encourages a broader understanding of what it means to be a devotee artist, urging the younger generation to break free from rigid notions and explore the profound impact Krishna-conscious art can have on society – “In the spiritual world, every step is a dance and every word is a song! That’s not something vainly sentimental. It means there’s endeavor there; the devotees engage their artistic and creative predilection to innovate in every aspect of their devotional service.”
As Laghuhari Das continues his artistic journey, his dedication to empowering devotees and fostering a sense of community through creativity remains unwavering. His aspiration to establish a training center and promote artistic expression within the ISKCON society is a testament to his deep-rooted belief in the transformative power of art.
Overall, Laghuhari Das is a multi-disciplined artist passionate about using his creativity to express himself and empower others. Through his work, he hopes to inspire the broader Krishna-conscious community to explore their own creative abilities and appreciate the spiritual value of artistic expression.
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