Where art shakes hands with Science

Sunday, February 22, 2015
The Hindu, Puducherry
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Regarded as kindred souls well beyond the age of Renaissance, art and science may have since been looked upon by society as irreconcilable with each other.

Yet, as radically different they may be in terms of one having the freedom to subvert logic while the other remains ever subservient to the rational, there could be convergences of art and science that can be rewarding for human endeavour.

It is with the idea of connecting the dots to bring together art and science under one roof that the German House for Research and Innovation (Deutsches Wissenschafts- und Innovations Haus – DWIH New Delhi) has brought to the city a weeklong event that includes the ‘DWIH Horizon: Art Meets Science’ exhibition at Alliance Francaise (February 21 to 26) and a higher education and research fair on the weekend.

A photo exhibition representing the intersection of art and science is also being hosted through the week.

Peter Strohschneider, president, German Research Foundation – DFG Bonn, said the art meets science event hoped to combine the experience of aesthetic pleasure and scientific inspiration.

Art and science, he pointed out, shared the fundamental anthropological purpose of improving understanding of the world we live in by opening up spaces for reflection.

The education fair, he hoped, would provide exposure to students on diverse career paths, exchange programmes and funding opportunities available to them — the Higher Education and Research Fair has participation from eight consortium members of DWIH New Delhi. The German presence includes leading universities, research funding organisations and educational institutions.

These institutions have set up booths to disseminate all necessary information required by Indian students, scientists or researchers to pursue their career in Germany. The programme of the Art meets Science event will also include info-sessions conducted by German institutions represented under the umbrella of DWIH New Delhi.

Martin Hanz, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Delhi, described Tamil Nadu as a fertile soil for Indo-German collaboration. “No other place in India has more young Indians learning German with the aim of pursuing research in applied sciences and technology.”

Apart from the perception among youth about Germany as a high-tech hub, the country also offered other areas of collaboration, he said.

Olivier Litvine, director, Alliance Francaise, said Franco-German cooperation had always proved successful and hoped this event would replicate that. Philippe Janvier-Kamiyama, French Consul-General, Puducherry, Alexander P. Hansen, Chairman of the Board of DWIH New Delhi, and Lalit Verma, president of Alliance Française, participated.

The weeklong exhibition will showcase photos depicting everyday life in India captured by Indian photographers during the Photography Master Classes “The Theatre of Real Life” conducted during the “Excellence on Tour” road shows in Ahmedabad and Kolkata - the pictures have now been assembled into an inspiring exhibition by German artistic photographer Wolfgang Zurborn.