FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Inauguration Ceremony of The Indian Independence Exhibition: Display of the Chakra Sculpture at Times Square
Indo-American Arts Council Inc. in partnership with the City of New York and the Consulate General of India in New York
New York, NY - August 15, 2023 – The Indo-American Arts Council Inc., in collaboration with The Consulate General of India in New York and The City of New York, is delighted to extend an invitation to the Inauguration Ceremony of The Indian Independence Exhibition. This significant event will showcase the awe-inspiring Chakra Sculpture, a symbol of India’s rich cultural heritage and shared values between the two nations.
“We are honored to welcome Mayor Eric Adams to this remarkable exhibition, which pays tribute to the timeless cultural bond between India and the United States,” expressed Rajeev Kaul, Board Member, IAAC. “The Chakra Sculpture’s presence in the heart of Times Square is a testament to the enduring friendship and shared values that unite our two nations.” he added.
"We are honored to bring the Konark Chakra to the heart of New York City to celebrate India’s 77th Independence Day. The Chakra or wheel stands as a shining symbol of India’s heritage, thought and timeless wisdom. Through the display of Chakra at Times Square, we not only celebrate the rich culture of India but also the enduring friendship that binds our two nations - United States and India. This sculpture, a faithful replica of one of the twenty fours Chakras that adorn the Konark Temple dedicated to Surya or the Sun God, carries with it the essence of India's history, resilience, and unity. It also symbolizes our deep reverence for nature, for the sun. We extend our warmest gratitude to The Honorable Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City, for joining us on this momentous occasion, to Mr. Vikas Khanna and to the Indo-American Arts Council Inc. for their partnership in the project. I also thank the State Bank of India for their support”, said Consul General of India in New York, Randhir Jaiswal.
The Inauguration Ceremony, scheduled for August 15th, 2023, at 10:30 AM, will take place at the iconic Times Square. The event promises a unique experience, featuring a special Odissi performance by accomplished artist Rimli Roy and Surati, adding a touch of elegance and grace to the occasion.
"I'm so proud to be representing India on August 15 to showcase the artisans and history and culture in this piece of stone which represents the wheel of time. I think this day is gifted to us by ancestors, their sacrifices, their resilience, and the determination that the children will grow up in a free country where they can choose to be anything they want. And I chose to become a chef, and I'm so proud that the entire country supported me. This is the power of freedom. Today, on August 15, we salute all those who stood up for this power and also gave us the vision of future of India", added Chef, Restaurateur, Writer and Filmmaker Vikas Khanna.
The Chakra Sculpture, with dimensions of 8 feet x 6 feet and an approximate weight of 1800 kilograms (4,000 pounds), stands as a testament to the remarkable craftsmanship and artistic ingenuity. It is a faithful replica of the Konark Chakra, a revered emblem from the Sun Temple in Konark, Odisha. The original Konark Chakra is a meticulously carved stone wheel, one of 24 such wheels adorning the Konark Sun Temple. Built in the 13th century, the Konark Sun Temple endured challenges throughout history such as invasions and natural calamities, yet its resilient spirit persevered. The intricate carvings and symbolic representation of the Konark Chakra continue to captivate visitors, serving as a poignant reminder of India's architectural and cultural legacy. Despite facing adversity, the Chakra embodies the enduring power and movement of the Sun, a source of sustenance and life, underscoring the same values as embodied by the city of New York.
Following the inauguration, the public is invited to explore the Chakra Sculpture exhibit, which will be open from August 15th to August 22nd, 2023. This exhibition provides an opportunity for visitors to engage with the captivating history and symbolism that the Chakra represents.
Date: August 15th, 2023
Ceremony Start Time: 10:30 AM
Location: 44/45 St, Times Square Plaza
Special Odissi Performance by Rimli Roy and Surati
August 15th - August 22nd, 2023
About Consulate General of India in New York:
The Consulate General of India in New York works to enhance bilateral relations between India and the United States, promoting cultural, economic, and political ties. For more information, visit www.indiainnewyork.gov.in.
About Indo-American Arts Council Inc.:
The Indo-American Arts Council Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to showcasing and promoting Indian arts and culture in the United States. For more information, visit www.iaac.us.
For more information, please visit iaac.us or follow us on @iaac.us on Facebook and Instagram, @iaartscouncil on Twitter.
Note to Editors:
High-resolution images and press kit are available upon request.
information, please visit www.iaac.us.