Satiating The Art Starved World: Dr. Jatin Das
Mrinal Chaudhury | Mar 12, 2018
Art is omnipresent and ever pervading; sometimes it is subtle and other times it is obvious. The undeniable fact, however, remains that art, apart from being a source of endless visual pleasure, has served immeasurable purposes from the inception of human civilization. One man on a mission to connect the human mind with the art around is Mr Jatin Das, a Padma Bhushan awardee. He has transformed from a product of art education to the syllabus of art education in the world.
The murals at Chelsea Art’s club, London, 68 one-man shows, installations and sculptures sprawled all across the world, public and private collections now stand testimony to his immeasurable contribution to art over 50 years. His works have been auctioned by major international auctioneers like Sotheby's, Christie's and Osian's. He has authored eight books and served as an integral member of over 13 commissions. It seems more than natural that he has been conferred with awards and honours such as Utkal Award by the honourable Bengal Governor, Kolkata in the year 2006, Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity Italian Government, Italian President Award, New Delhi, 2007, and was conferred Padma Bhushan by Government of India, January 2012. He also owns the largest collection of Pankhas in the world.
The Arts and Cultural Society, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela organized a session in order to facilitate the interaction of the NITR junta with a living legend of the Indian art arena with a seminar of Dr Jatin Das. On the 15th of February, 2018, NITR got one of the rare opportunities to witness the charisma of this personality as Dr Jatin Das graced the campus with a visit for discussions of the project and a talk organized by the Arts and Cultural society.
Why are the walls of this institute so hungry? Why is there no visible artwork here?
were the first words of Dr.Jatin Das as he met the students of NITR at the porch of the South Block guest house on 14th February 2018.
After a series of meetings in the morning of 15th February, his talk commenced at 4:30 PM in Bhubaneswar Behera Auditorium. Prof. Animesh Biswas, Director, NIT Rourkela along with professors from each department were present on the occasion. More than 200 students were present for the talk. The session began with a welcome address and introduction by Prof.Arjun Mukherjee, Vice President of the Arts and Cultural Society, SAC, NIT Rourkela. Dr Jatin Das preferred keeping the session informal and began with a general description of his perception of the institute. He went on to describe the scenario of art in India and the shift of indian art from the culture of India. He elucidated upon the need for freedom to be creative and love for our work. He went on take questions from a highly curious audience. The session wrapped up with a presentation of his best works over the years. The charisma of this personality was palpable as students flocked to accompany him for tea under the shade of the of the old banyan tree in front of the Biju Pattnaik Central Library.
Born in quaint locales of Baripada, Jatin Das had the following to say about his life:
I am the middle son in my family. A middle son is more akin to a black sheep more often, and I perceived it as my freedom. I was born in Baripada and grew up with my grandmother, parents and an army of brothers and sisters.I spent all my time in the garden, painting, playing and modelling with clay, dozing off or writing poetry. Sometimes, I would go to swim in the river as well. I finished schooling at Baripada in a school and declared in my home that I am going to Bombay to pursue fine arts in the J.J School of Art. This decision was met with a lot of resistance from a conservative family like ours. They eventually succumbed to my decision and everything else followed suit. I have worked tirelessly, achieving my own little milestones each day. I wish that the student community here and everywhere understands that and works with blood and sweat on whatever gives them a sense of fulfilment.
The Arts and Cultural Society did a commendable job in organizing the session but glitches such as malfunctioning microphones and lack of volunteers from SAC marred the occasion. Team Monday Morning hopes that the members of NIT Rourkela get to interact with such revolutionary personalities who have shaped the respective fields they have flourished in and expects a glitchless show from the organizing committee of such workshops.