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Preeti Chandrakant

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Maharishikaa Preeti in Soglio, Switzerland, 2017

Preeti Chandrakant better known as Maharishikaa Preeti[1] or simply Maiyaa[1] is a transformational pioneer[2][3], mystic[1] and an award winning[4] artist and art film maker[5].

Revered as a seer, Maharishikaa Preeti is known to demystify spirituality in her unrelenting call to realise the Self. Over the last decade and a half, she has attracted thousands of seekers from around the world. Through her lucid answers to their questions, she progressively unveils an astounding body of knowledge about every conceivable aspect of life.[1]

Referring to herself as a first generation Immaterialist[6], she is the first artist worldwide to create and show, ArtBeings[7] - humans who have been sculpted by her over many years, and programmed with Time Pieces[6]

Her work has been shown at the Art Basel, the Palais Palffy in Vienna,[8] the Palazzo Pitti in Florence,[9] the Locarno International Film Festival,[10] the Trento International Film Festival,[4] the Festival Max Ophüls Preis, and the Mumbai International Film Festival, Shedhalle Zurich, IG Halle Rapperswil, The India Art Fair and Goethe Institutes among others.

PRESENCE Happenings with Maharishikaa Preeti are held at various locations around the world.[11]


Mumbai-born Preeti Chandrakant's father was a Time–Life photographer in the 1960s.[12] Her mother, Kamala Chandrakant,[13] was an editor and writer of India's mythological comics Amar Chitra Katha, which have sold over ninety million copies worldwide.[14]

While developing her work as an artist in Zürich, on an extraordinary adventure of consciousness, a series of indescribable mystic experiences catapulted Preeti into a state that marked the beginning of an ongoing manifestation of a new and immense body of knowledge.[1]


Following this, one morning, as she sat in a café in Zurich, A woman unknown to her, approached Preeti to describe an overwhelming vision she’d just had of white light coursing through Preeti’s body and emanating from the crown of her head. The woman, a Zurich artist, and occultist invited Preeti to address a group of friends and answer their existential questions. Deeply touched by her, people in Europe and India began inviting others to see the Maharishikaa, the seer and knower. Seekers from different fields - students of life, scientists, artists, industrialists, entrepreneurs, philosophers, psychologists, scholars - approached her, for reasons they could not rationalize. Since then, away from the limelight of social media, she has addressed thousands.[1]

In transformational happenings called PRESENCE Maharishikaa Preeti receives people from around the world. In an article in Life Positive magazine, she is described as extremely powerful, a truly rare and compassionate being, and a living master and guide who makes possible the experience of sweet surrender.[11]

Describing a meeting with her, the author says: “Maharishikaa Preeti has manifested a body of knowledge that covers practically every aspect of life and living. Her answers are cutting edge, scientific, practical, and filled with a beauty that satiates the intellect each time she gives an insight. I learnt that Presence Happenings were not simply about understanding things conceptually. It was fundamentally about transformation - transforming those aspects about myself that obstructed my own prosperity, my self-realisation. The master sculptor that Maharishikaa Maiyaa is, she sculpts away at the ego to unveil the truth hidden within a being.”[15]

Art and Art Film[edit]

Early in her career as an artist, Chandrakant crossed paths with Swiss author[16] Romano 'Roma' Fasciati who had grown up in the tiny alpine village of Stampa, home to the family of renowned sculptor Alberto Giacometti. Jointly they embarked on what was to be a fourteen-year-long[17] precise investigation of human consciousness. Chandrakant calls the works of this period Outer Journeys, Inner Odysseys.[18].

A Goat To The Gods (as Preeti von Roma, director) is a video collage of behind-the-scenes 'found objects' with Klaus Kinski and Werner Herzog. The film depicts "an absurd journey into a jungle of veiled madness" revealing the 'doings' of Kinski and Herzog against the backdrop of real Africa. A Goat To The Gods premiered at the Palais Pallfy in Vienna.[8]

Al Gatun,[19][20] (as Kali, director and screenplay writer) is a black and white feature film, (with the mesmerizing cinematography of Werner Herzog trained cameramen Rainer Klausmann and Beat Presser and the magical music of Popul Vuh)[21] describing "a journey from the real to the surreal", shot with Roma and the people of his village, Stampa. Chandrakant won an award from the Federal office of Culture of the Swiss Confederation[22] as well as the extremely rare[21] special prize of the jury (headed by Karin Brandauer) for a film d'auteur, at the Trento International Film Festival.[4] Al Gatun premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival and the Festival Max Ophüls Preis. The Neue Zürcher Zeitung described the film as "simply fascinating".

Jesus Goes to India, (as Preeti Chandrakant, director and screenplay writer) is a feature film, describing "a journey from the real, to the surreal, to the abstract, to the absurd", with Roma and Chandrakant's family and friends in India.[18] The film premiered at the Festival Cinéma Tout Ecran in Geneva, the Palazzo Pitti in Florence,[9] Italy and the Mumbai Film Festival. It was broadcast on various television stations, and sub-titled in different languages. The Hindu asserted that the film had "been evoking a multifarious response worldwide".[23]

Evolution and Spirituality[edit]

After Jesus goes to India, Maharishikaa Preeti and Romano 'Roma' Fasciati's collaboration focused on a body of thought about art,[24] evolution and spirituality[25] and the interrelationship between experience, perception and transformation.[26]

Chandrakant also presented a path breaking piece titled ‘The Shift to the New Being’ at the International Conference on Thinking held in Phoenix, Arizona titled 'Creating the Future: Paradigm Shifts in all Disciplines'.

Later at the United Nations,[27] she presented the concept of a Peace Awakening Force,[28] a forum of the avant-garde of science, art, and spirituality, organized as a complement to the peace-keeping, peace-building, and peace-making efforts of the United Nations.

Her appearance at these two venues was backed by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, as well as the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and the City Council of Zürich.[28]

During this period Preeti Chandrakant also began work on her Magnum Opus, the controversial ArtBeings Project.


In June 2011, at the Art Basel, Preeti Chandrakant first displayed her ArtBeings. In January 2012, she created quite a controversy[29] at the India Art Fair, when she issued a call to collectors and institutions, to go down in the history of art, as the first ever collector of a Living Work of Art.[5]

Ostensibly up for sale at the India Art fair were six humans - three Europeans and three Indians - who have been sculpted by Chandrakant in interactive happenings and could be purchased packaged, insured, displayed, resold, and auctioned.[6]

The six ArtBeings mingled[30] with curious and sometimes shocked visitors,[31] conversing with them about the process of sculpting that they had undergone and the philosophy and technology underlying this new art form.[32]

With this seminal work, Chandrakant raises vital questions about slavery and freedom. She wryly comments on the commodification of art and the art world’s focus on permanence, draws attention to the human being as a potential work of art, and introduces a new format for artists to explore. “It’s about shifting the interest from object to human” she remarked.[5]

In an interview with the magazine Matters of Art, Chandrakant explained: “Years ago, I saw in Venice a statue completely covered with white gook. I occurred to me then, that, if all those pigeon droppings were chiseled away, the statue would suddenly walk to its freedom. Extrapolated to the ArtBeings, this is what I'm doing.”[6]

“In the 20th century Joseph Beuys said: ‘Everyone is an artist’. In the 21st century I say: ‘Everyone is a potential work of art’. Those willing to be sculpted, undergo a process of instruction before being declared Living Works of Art.”[6]

Said Chandrakant: “The process of sculpting is like a spiritual process and has been practiced in India since time immemorial. I have incorporated that”[29]

To The Hindu she reflected: “Living Works of Art are human beings whose thinking has been made more precise, whose seeing has been made more aware, whose hearing has been sharpened, whose touch has been trained to respond to the subtlest of stimuli, whose tasting has been refined, whose smelling has been heightened, whose sensing has been awoken, whose very materiality has become aware of itself”[31]

Chandrakant clarified: ”No, it's not slavery. The Living Works of Art are entirely free. They can decide if they want to be collected or not. They can decide who collects them.”[5] “This is an attitude, power, control, and patience check for the collector.”[29]

Chandrakant's ArtBeings come programmed - each with specific Time Pieces and aphorisms. They fulfill the conventions of gallery and museum.

There were four interested collectors at the India Art Fair. None of the individuals, however, could fulfill the stringent terms and conditions laid down by the artist.[6] Chandrakant's quest for the first ever collector goes on.

As an award-winning art filmmaker[4] and artist, Maharishikaa Preeti continues to sculpt and exhibit her controversial ArtBeings.

Time Pieces[edit]

A museum or gallery visitor viewing a piece by Preeti Chandrakant won't see an installation, a photograph, a painting, a video or a performance. Instead, the viewer will be drawn into an interactive experience, a Time Piece.

Chandrakant's ephemeral Time Pieces are framed periods of time in which, according to the artist's oral instructions, human beings referred to as Elements engage the viewer in an experience, often by starting out a conversation. These human Elements may be the Living Works of Art that she 'sculpts' in her studios in Zurich and Mumbai, or simply any collaborator who is available, inspired and ready to participate.

Drawn into and actively engaged in a cerebral as well as an emotional experience, the viewer turns into an Element of the piece, and is empowered to become an artist of the piece.

A recent Time Piece of Chandrakant, shown at the ART Basel 2010, is from a series of six pieces called This Art is Immaterial. This series is based on the mother phrase Everyone is a Potential Work of Art.[33] The Time Piece called One Veiled Question has a burka clad Element approaching visitors saying, “Excuse me, may I ask you a question? Am I art?”

If, during the resulting conversation, the visitor utters either the word 'object' or the word 'religion' , he or she is interrupted by the Element, who lifts up the veil, removes the burka, and cries out “Oh no! Did you say the word object?” (or, “Oh no! Did you say the word religion?”) “This is the end! It's all Immaterial!”

The Element then pauses for a moment, before declaring, "You have just been interactive in a Time Piece called One Veiled Question by Preeti Chandrakant."[34]

Chandrakant says, "In fifty years, maybe sooner, most artists will have stopped creating cumbersome objects. Galleries, museums and private collections will be alive with art that breathes."[34]

Chandrakant's 'dematerialized' Time Pieces function fully within the framework of gallery or museum. Time Pieces can be repeated and can be acquired for private and public collections.

Time Capsules[edit]

A Time Capsule is a predefined period of time during which a private meeting between Preeti Chandrakant and the collector takes place. Time capsules may be purchased. They are numbered and the purchase is registered.

A Time Capsule cannot be sold, or passed on. It stays with the collector as a piece of memory, which can be shared with others, or not. It goes with the collector when he or she dies.

Grants and awards[edit]

  • Arts Council of Basel (Kulturfoerderung des Kantons Basel-Stadt)[35]
  • Arts Council of the Bregaglia (Società Culturale di Bregaglia)[35]
  • Arts Council of Graubünden (Kulturfoerderung Graubuenden)[35]
  • Arts Council of Italian Graubünden (Pro Grigioni Italiano)[35]
  • Arts Council Pro Helvetia (Pro Helvetia Schweizer Kulturstiftung)[36]
  • City Council of Zürich (Stadtrat der Stadt Zürich)[37]
  • Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Switzerland (Eidgenössisches Departement für auswärtige Angelegenheiten)
  • Swiss National Television (German (DRS), Italian (TSI)[35] and French (TSR) stations)
  • National film prize – emerging filmmaker(National Arts Council of Switzerland – section Film)[22]
  • Special prize of the jury (Trento International Film Festival) Italy. President Karin Brandauer.[38]
  • Audience Favorite Film (Trento International Film Festival) Italy[39]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Mystical Maharishikaa, Life Positive, Oct 2017
  2. Zürichsee-Zeitung Obersee, Donnerstag, 23. August 2018 Über das Leben vor und nach dem Tod
  3. Zürcher Oberlander, 9.10. 2018 Konfrontation mit einem unbequemen Thema
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 29 April 1991
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Humans for sale, The Week
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 HUMANS FOR SALE!, Matters of Art!
  7. Kunstbulletin Nov 2016 Face to Face
  8. 8.0 8.1 Archives of Vienna Cultural Service, 14 December 1994
  9. 9.0 9.1 "River To River Festival" Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine
  10. Bündner Zeitung, 7 June 1991
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Transformation, Life Positive, June 2016
  12. NRI World, 2002, Interview by Yves Vaz
  13. "Some Works by Kamala Chandrakant"
  14. "Amar Chitra Katha, Tinkle to entertain kids on Net"
  15. Life Positive, August 2018, Merging with the Maharishikaa
  16. Tages Anzeiger 7 January 1991
  17. Die Südostschweiz 4 Oct 2002
  18. 18.0 18.1 The Week 7 Apr 2002
  19. Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 1 February 1991
  20. Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 20 April 1994
  21. 21.0 21.1 Rivista di Lugano, 17 May 1991
  22. 22.0 22.1 Archives Bundesamt für Kultur, 1991
  23. "Truth and Illusion". The Hindu. 30 December 2001. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  24. The Economic Times, 28 March 2002
  25. Catalog, The International Conference on Thinking, 2003
  26. India Today, October, 2002
  27. "Peace Initiative"
  28. 28.0 28.1 Tages Anzeiger Zurich, 15 October 2002
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Selling yourself to enhance your senses, The Pioneer
  30. Delhi turns state of the art, Hindustan Times Archived 2012-05-01 at the Wayback Machine
  31. 31.0 31.1 We are her Canvas, The Hindu, 10 February 2012
  32. Art Soup for the Soul, The Indian Express
  33. "Preeti Chandrakant at Art Basel, 2010"
  34. 34.0 34.1 "Citin - Soirées et culture" Archived 2010-08-20 at the Wayback Machine
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 Bündner Zeitung, 13 November 1997
  36. "Arts Council Pro Helvetia Archives" Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine
  37. Archives of City Council of Zurich, 2002
  38. Annabelle, June 1991
  39. La Regione Ticino, 17 October 2000

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