Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Painting - Patang Bazi

Patang Bazi

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1987 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Khanna, Balraj (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in paint (powdered acrylic discharged with a blowtorch) and sand on canvas

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

'Patang Bazi', the title of this painting literally means 'kite flying'. In this painting the artist recalls his personal boyhood memories of playing with kites, combining it with another childhood memory of the puppet theatre. In this case, the artist has depicted puppets resembling kites upside down - that is, hanging from strings instead of being restrained by them. The painting is imbued with a dreamy-like atmosphere, reminiscent of the work of surrealist artist Miro'.

Khanna was born in 1940 in Punjab. In 1962 the artist moved to Britani to pursue his studies in English literature at Oxford University but due to the turmoil in India caused by the war with China, papers from his university in Chandigarh never arrived and he was unable to resume them. Khanna remained in the UK and became a self-taught artist.

Physical description

Painting, paint and sand on canvas, as the title 'kite flying' indicates, the painting recalls boyhood memories of playing with kites but this is combined with the other childhood memory of the puppet theatre: puppets resembling kites upside down, hanging from strings instead of being restrained by them.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1987 (made)


Khanna, Balraj (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Painted in paint (powdered acrylic discharged with a blowtorch) and sand on canvas


Height: 50 cm, Width: 127 cm, Height: 127 cm with mount, Width: 127 cm with mount

Object history note

Purchased from Horizon Gallery. Rp 87/978

'Post-1920' note by Robert Skelton
This work by a leading Indian painter and novelist working in this country could perhaps be mistaken for something western in the vein of Miro. In fact it represents his boyhood memories of the kite-flyinf festival, which explains its title Patang Bazi 'kite flying''. It is not merely of kites but also recalls another quintessential Indian childhood experience - the puppet play- since string puppets resemble kites upside-down.

Khanna is well regarded by English art critics as you can see from Richard Cork's review in 'Listener' of 4 June 87. Apart from being worth having in its own right and adding a new dimension to what we have in the collection the acquisition of this work by a leading member of the Indian community in this country will serve as a boost to the morale of the community as a whole and help us in our outreach programme.

Historical context note

Horizon Gallery Exhibition in London, June 1987.

Descriptive line

Painting, Patang Bazi(kite-flying), by Balraj Khanna, oil on canvas, London, 1987

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Transcript of BBC Radio World Service interview 'State of Flux' of art critic Richard Cork with artist (see Rp).


Paint; Sand; Canvas



Subjects depicted



Paintings; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.