While many commuters occupy their time on transit in books, on the phone, or absorbed in their mobile devices, New York psychiatrist Peter Bulow engages in the world around him by sculpting the faces he sees during his commute on the subway. One of these sculptures was of a Sikh gentleman he encountered who later showed up in Bulow’s office:
One of the people Bulow saw and sculpted on the A train was a Sikh man wearing a turban. The following year, Bulow saw the Sikh man in the office.
“He’s a neurologist from India and he’s come to volunteer in my lab. So that was a hoot,” says Bulow.
Read the full story at ny1.com.
Dear Rupinder Mohan Singh,
Thank you for your article about my sculpture. I was born in India, in Rurkhela, Orissa, and though I have never been back to Orissa I feel drawn to India and to its people. After medical school I volunteered as an intern in a village in Maharashtra for ten months. It was a great experience, one that changed me in many ways. The Sikhs that I have encountered in New York seem posessed of an inner calm and dignity which I admire. I also admire the intricate windings of the turban which seems terribly complicated. I can’t figure out how it’s made.
I did the portrait of this neurologist on the A train near 168th street one summer and we recognized each other on the A train the following winter, when I did his portrait again. The version in white clay shown on your blog and in NY1 is the second portrait I made of him. Some time later we recognize each other when he is getting his physical done in Employee Health and, a few hours after this, he is sitting in my office waiting for a job interview. All this is total coincidence and we never exchanged any words. I’ve done other portraits of Sikhs on the subway in the last few years and would love to do a series of life sized portraits of Indian Americans living in New York, especially in Jackson Heights, where I used to live. Perhaps these can be exhibited somewhere in Jackson Heights or in Little India on 28th street and Lex.
I have other pictures of these portraits that I can upload for your site, if you like.
Thanks very much for your response! I was surprised but delighted that you commented on this post with more of your story.
I find your portraits very intriguing, and so I would be happy to display any additional photos you are willing to share. Please contact me via the Contact link at the top of the website and we can make arrangements to display the pictures.