Soumitra Sengupta’s photography
Soumitra Sengupta is our friend and well-known art practitioner in Kolkata’s artists’ arena. After complete his study in visual art in 1994 he started his life as a painter and took part in major group shows, gallery shows and national exhibition. Few years ago he also got a national fellowship and he was the first award winner candidate in Computer Graphics category in National Exhibition of Lalit Kala Akademi (National Academy of Fine Arts), New Delhi, in the year 2004. By profession he is a graphic artist and worked in media house, TV channels etc. From his earlier life he had a keen interest in photography, literature, poetry, music, film, theater, different cultural activities and travelling to the remote areas . He travelled major parts of India in search of a beauty of Bengal or India’s largest natural diversity. His passion and awareness in cross cultural affinities pushes him forward to the searching through the lens of mind; for that reason he sometimes moves outside of Kolkata with his accessories to capture the images on nature or life.
Legendary artist Gopeswar Pal
Few weeks ago all on a sudden Soumitra appeared in the studio of famous sculptor Gopeswar Pal of freedom fighting age, who associated with the national leaders at that time and he trained in Italy in sculpting and attached himself to the local Puja (worship) Committee after coming back home from Italy. He was the first one who had changed the paradigm of idol making from single-frame (ekchala) style to multiple frames that created a new era in the worship and festival of Devi Durga (Goddess Durga) in Bengal although the priests were then not happy to agree with this changes and did not want to worship the goddess. Skilled sculptor Gopeswar was the creator of many sculptures for Ramkrishna Mission. Gopeswar died in 1944 leaving behind his studio G Pal & Sons (Established in 1926) at *Kumartuli in north Kolkata.
From the studio of Gopeswar Pal
Photo Credit : Soumitra Sengupta
*Kumartuli – In Kolkata “Kumartuli” is a place where major idol makers’ studio (not in European style) established in the early period of the colonial rulers when they started to build a new city, named Calcutta.
“Kumor”, “Mritshilpee” and the Method: In relation to this context “Kumor” means “Clay-modeller” generally but those who are idol makers, in good sense they are called “Mritshilpee”(‘Mrit’ means ‘Clay’ and ‘Shilpee’ means ‘Artist’) and “Pal” (pronounced as ‘paal’) is their family title that indicates it that they are ‘Idol-makers’.
These idol makers (mritshilpee) do their work in a typical style that is completely based on the localized method. They make a modulated three-dimensional figure that made with prepared clay on a basic structure of bamboo and wooden frame, use straw for body structure etc.; the whole structure placed and attached with a low hight stage and a back. Clay is overlapped on the body structure layer after layer with the help of finger tip up to the finishing stage, then a slick bamboo stick they use to finish accurately. After the finishing of clay work they leave it for proper drying in normal temperature. When it is dried properly the coloration starts to paint on the body and other parts. Here painting means to draw on a three-dimensional art object instead of two-dimensional surface but the way is simple. The whole procedure is completely localized and not likely to be the western type method.
The meaning of two captions :
KALIO DAMAN OF LORD KRISHNA – Kalio is a demon whom Lord Krishna killed; Kalio and Krishna both are mythological characters. Krishna is God and Kalio is demon according to the Hindu mythology.
LORD SIVA – Lord Shiva is also another God according to the Hindu mythology.
—Reported by neelseen