Sikh Art UK

The story behind ‘Jewels from Sikh Wisdom’

by Harinder Singh

It is with great humility and a spirit of kinship that we present this book, Jewels from Sikh Wisdom – A Journey of Discovery, both to the Sikh world and to those beyond it. Since the idea of this book first came to my mind, back in 2017, the whole process of the book’s creation has been, for me, a journey of self-discovery and self-improvement. I had long conceived a book that would gather and present the pearls of wisdom gifted to us by Guru Nanak Dev Ji and, in time, I was able to step closer to this dream by writing some children’s books for the BBC and Maxwell House Publishing, as well as by founding Sikh Art & Animations UK, to promote the Sikh faith through art, creative writing and animated films. 

One day, I came across the ‘Sikh Series’ artwork of The Singh Twins. It was then that I experienced the ‘light bulb’ moment, with the idea to invite them to develop an illustrated book. After almost two years of correspondence, whilst they were focussed on various commissions, exhibitions, and book launches, they invited me to their home in Liverpool to discuss and lay plans for the book.

By February 2020 we had some initial artwork and designs, which I had a chance to exhibit at an event held by the Royal Bank of Scotland in Birmingham to commemorate Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s 550th birth centenary. Providentially, it happened to be organised by Amandeep Singh Sahota and Kamaljit Kaur, whom I know from the Gurudwara I regularly attend in Leicester. Its keynote speaker was Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia OBE KSG from the Nishkam Group of Organisations. 

Upon seeing the initial book drafts, and with an interest in developing contemporary resources on Sikh teachings, he graciously accepted an invitation to be its overall patron and consultant. Through my friend, Parvinder Singh, I remained in contact with Bhai Sahib Ji, upon whose recommendation Dr Gopinder Kaur Sagoo was invited to develop the structure and main commentary. As part of the Guru Nanak Nishkam Education Trust, Gopinder was joined by Munpreet Kaur to support the process of designing the book under the creative direction of The Singh Twins. When The Twins informed me, in January 2021, that Bicky Singh of Sikhlens had agreed to publish and market the book, it began to feel that all the wheels were indeed in motion. Over the course of the year, the pages of the book gradually materialised.

With Vaheguru Ji’s grace, the team were able to create a spiritual treasure trove within this book. In particular, great effort was made to ensure that the translation & transcreation conveys to the readers the essence of the gems from Gurbani without destroying the true message of the Divine Hymns.

The book has been a great team effort, and I am grateful to The Singh Twins and Gopinder Kaur for the work that they have put into the final product, which allows the text and artwork to seamlessly communicate with each other. We hope that all those who possess this beautiful book will take pleasure & inspiration in delving into the priceless gems of Guru Nanak’s legacy to humanity. I believe this priceless knowledge will be treasured & passed on from one generation to the next.

UK Book Launch

Our UK book launch took place on the 10th September at the Nishkam Centre, Birmingham. We am grateful to the Nishkam team for generously hosting the event.

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