Sep 15, 2015 | By Kira

Epic tales of good versus evil, of warriors racing into battle, of bloodshed, faith, and the ultimate triumph of freedom over tyranny, do not solely belong in fantasy series. In fact, they are an integral part of Sikhism, a religion dating back to the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. Unfortunately, much of today’s generation is completely unaware of this rich, beautiful, and sometimes violent history, perhaps preferring to watch similar stories unfold over on HBO. In order to re-engage youth with their heriage, UK-based 3D artist and proud member of the Sikh community Taranjit Singh has designed a handsome, fierce-looking statue of a famous Sikh warrior and has raised the funds to mass produce the models for buyers worldwide. “I think it’s a shame that the current generation of Sikhs has mostly forgotten these stories, and I wanted to do something about that,” said the artist.

Taran began by meticulously researching and sourcing weapons and religious imagery from that time period, using existing Sikh paintings and folklore as a basis. He then set to work carefully crafting each part in 3D, designing a strong and powerfully built statue in the likeness of the famous warrior Garja Singh. The statue depicts him standing tall, holding two swords, and wearing an authentic shield and clothing from that time period.

an early depiction of Garja and Bota Signh

His goal is to 3D print the model, which stands at 30 cm tall, so that a mould can be made and cast multiple times with resin and a bronze powder coating. The process is known as ‘cold-casting’, which is not quite the same as having a real bronze statue, but it is much cheaper and will allow him to sell the statues at an affordable price. A limited run of 10 real bronze statues will also be available for those who can afford the high production costs.

With over 12 years of experience in the engineering and architectural industry, Taran has built up an impressive portfolio of designs that reflect the culture and history of Punjab, however with this project, he seeks to bring that culture to the mainstream. That goal seems likely to become a reality, as his £11,500 Kickstarter campaign goal was surpassed in the first few days, and funds continue to pour in. “Sikh history and art are my passion and I have always been inspired by stories about the brave Sikh warriors who rose to forge their own Sikh empire in Punjab during the 1700’s. I wanted to create something that would remind people of their bravery and celebrate their inspirational sacrifice. This is my way of sharing their story with the next generation.”

Taran Singh next to his full-scale model. Image via Sikh24

The statue is based on the famous 18th century warrior Garja Singh. As the legend goes, Garja Singh and Bota Singh were heroes who fought against the oppressive regime of Zaikriya Kahn in 1739. At that time, it was declared lawful to persecute Sikhs, and thousands were murdered, including women and children. In an act of pure defiance, Garja Signh and Bota Singh named themselves “the true sovereign kings of Punjab” and took over one of Kahn’s checkpoints, fighting off an entire battalion of Mughal guards. Though the two martyrs died in battle, they awoke the Punjab people and inspired them to join the revolution. According to Taran, within 60 years the Sikhs had forged the first secular Sikh Kingdom where people of all backgrounds and religions could prosper in peace. By displaying the 30cm statues in their homes, people will have a positive opportunity to re-tell this epic tale, and share their heritage in a positive way, not only with the next generation of Sikhs, but with all who are interested.

There are eleven days remaining in the campaign, with £15,000 already secured. A single cold-cast bronze statue can be obtained for £120, while the full bronze version is going for £600. To support this cultural and beautifully-executed project, be sure to check out the Kickstarter for yourself.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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