State Artist-PEPSU (08-06-1948 to 31-3-1951)
Trilok Singh was adjudged the best in painting competition held for the post State Artist in Patiala & East Punjab States Union ( PEPSU) and was offered the job. He joined State Artist PEPSU on June 8, 1948. During this tenure,he was associated with art work of Rikanjit Secretriat, Punjabi Archives department, Museum, Darbar Hall(Qilla Mubarik). Rai Sahib Ganga Singh, State Artist ( since 1942), Specialist in Drawing and Painting University College, ( London). He wrote about the State Artist Trilok Singh on 29-03-1951.
I certify that S.Trilok Singh Artist has been working in the state for last 2½ years. I have had the opportuinity to examine his work several times. I always found that he is up to the mark. He is very strong in persopective drawing and and making original designs, which infact is the key of success in Fine Arts.
His work that he has done in Darbar Hall ( Qilla Mubarik ) during this period would speak the efficiency itself.
Last time in 1948, when the post was created, he topped the competition and therefore job was offered to him, unfortuately the post now been reduced. I wish that he may be tried somewhere else in the State.
Ganga Singh Rai Sahib
Specialist in Drawing & painting
University College, ( London).
He had the opportunity to work with Artist Rai Sahib Ganga Singh. He used to make ‘Botanical drawings’. Trilok Singh prepared number of commercial art works, portraits and life size paintings. Trilok singh wanted the German Prints to be made for his works, he visited “Hem Chander Bhargava and sons” in Delhi. But the prices quoted were very high, so could't get it done.
After reduction of State-Artist post in Princely state Patiala on 30-03-1951, he joined as Artist, Mehkma Punjabi (Depatment),PEPSU, Patiala. His office was in Qilla Mubarik, Patiala. Captain Mohan Singh Kiledar of Qilla Mubarik and S. Pritam Singh Karora mentioned the Artist about his works to Dr. Ganda Singh, the then Director /Punjabi Mehkama & Archives Department (PEPSU). Trilok Singh started working as an Artist in the Mehkma Punjabi, Patiala. He was also member of PEPSU Assembly Hall Decoration Committee. Sant Inder Singh Chakarvarti was also working in the department in reseach section. In 1954, Ramgarhia College, Phagwara honoured the Artist and awarded a gold medal in painting exhibition.
This painting on Guru Nanak's ‘Shabad’ was completed in 1950. It was fixed in wooden frame with ivory work. It had a shutter which moved in side the main frame. It covered the painting when the shutter was slided down. When one wanted to see the painting, the shutter was lifted up. This shutter was made of beautiful wooden strips. The shutter had a lock and one could see only the keyhole. Trilok Singh prepared painting based on Guru Nanak's Shabad. This painting depicts the different stages of man’s life, where Guru Nanak explains it in his own words “gfjb/ fgnko brk ED d[fXHHHHH” and Trilok Singh had defined it in his own pictorial language. Every one appreciated the Artist's pictorial illustration of Gurbani.
This painting was purchased in 1952 by Swami Keshwanand, Member Parliament and is displayed at “Sangharia Museum”, Sanghria, Rajasthan.
Maharaja Surindra Singh ordered that the paintings prepared by Trilok Singh should always be displayed in PEPSU Emporium,. From there, his paintings were sold and sent to foreign countries. ‘Guru Gobind sleeping in Machhiwara forest’ was sent to Russia and similarly many other paintings.
Shri Swami Keshwanand of Sangharia was Member Parliament during PEPSU time. He usually visited Patiala to meet Dr. Ganda Singh, Director, Punjabi and Archives department, PEPSU. The Swami got one book written on Sikh history in Hindi from Shri Desh Raj. The Swami got this book edited by Dr. Ganda Singh. The Swami visited the Artist and was very much impressed to see the Gurbani Shabads and message conveyed through visual form in paintings.
Shri Swami Keshwanand of Sangharia visited many artists but found mostly portraits of Sikh Gurus and paintings based on Sakhi but could not get Guru’s message in any of those paintings. When he visited the Artist, he was very much impressed to see paintings based on Gurbani. In 1954, Swami ji purchased thirty three paintings and displaced in gallery and named it ”Trilok Kala Kaksh” at Sangharia, Rajasthan so that people may understand Gurbani messages from paintings. In 1954, the Artist was specially invited to their annual function at Sangharia and was honoured.
Dr. Ganda Singh knew him very well. He arranged exhibition of Trilok Singh many times. Dr. Ganda Singh wrote about the Artist:-
“I think myself lucky to see his paintings and I have got respect for his all round talent. I have succeeded in bringing him to Punjabi Language Department. He did meticulous job. His creations of the illustrations of verses from Guru Granth Sahib have left deep impressions on human mind. Besides the technique the paintings reflect his inner dedication. I have the faith after seeing these paintings, people will be aware of the art of Trilok Singh. They will also learn to work hard and get inspiration….” Dr. Ganda Singh.