Three sculptures by Indian artists auctioned off at Hong Kong Sotheby’s for WWF tiger conservation

Proceeds from an auction held at Sotheby’s Gallery in Hong Kong will be used for tiger conservation in Southeast Asia

At the start of the 20th century, approximately 1,00,000 tigers roamed the earth. But with poachers and invaders, their numbers have dwindled. Currently, there are 3,900 tigers in the world, reports the World Wildlife Fund. According to a 2018 national census, an estimated 2,967 tigers live in India. An international auction was held yesterday at Sotheby’s Gallery in Hong Kong to raise funds for tiger conservation activities in Southeast Asia. Of the 56 artworks, two sculptures were created by three artists – Subodh Gupta, Bharti Kehr and Michelle Poonawalla – who represented the Indian subcontinent.

striped tiger

Poonawalla’s Striped Tiger sculpture was inspired by the common Indian butterfly that bears the same name. Explaining her inspiration, she says, “This butterfly gave me the idea to create a sculpture (tiger sculpture) with its wings on the body of the tiger. My works highlighted the importance of supporting each other and working collectively. In this case, both creatures borrow each other’s strength, support, and positivity.


Husband-wife duo Subodh Gupta and Bharti Kehr have collaborated on a sculpture, titled Puli, which is an amalgamation of their common themes – utensils and bindi with a fiberglass tiger head. “Some of our most memorable times together have been in the lap of nature, particularly on the Masai Mara Trail in Kenya and closer to home in India on the Ranthambore National Park (Rajasthan) Tiger Safari,” states Gupta, as Kehr adds, “As artists, we look to nature for inspiration, it’s our greatest teacher.

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