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Master Strokes

Sudipto Shome speaks to Sandip Ray, son of Satyajit Ray, on an upcoming exhibition of his artwork for his books and films.

art and culture Updated: Jan 22, 2008 13:57 IST
Sudipto Shome

It's an attempt to show Satyajit Ray as an artist. "We want to present him as a painter and a graphics man. We also want to make people aware of the Ray Society's work," says filmmaker Sandip Ray.

The legendary director's son is member-secretary of The Society for the Preservation of Satyajit Ray Films, better known as Ray Society.

The group is organising a weeklong exhibition of Ray's art at the North Gallery of Academy of Fine Arts from January 19. The exhibition will showcase an array of the maestro's rare artworks, many of which have not been exhibited before.

Roman holiday
About 80 creations will be on display. While some are enlarged prints of the legend's artworks others are originals. Sandip explains, "Exhibitions on Ray's posters and his photographs have been held but I don't remember one that focussed on his artworks."

The exhibition also strives to present Ray as designer of book jackets, ad-man, set designer, costume designer and designer of title cards of films.

"The four type faces - Daphnis, Ray Bizarre, Ray Roman and Holiday Script - that he created will also be on display," says Sandip.

Also on display will be the rare book jackets designed by him while he was associated with Signet Press.

"Apart from book jackets for his own works, he also designed for others. While Shyam Benegal was making a documentary on him, he wanted baba to select his favourite book jackets. It's a huge collection, which we found kept neatly in an envelope. We've selected some to be displayed," says Sandip.

The designs of costumes that Ray made for films such as Goopey Gyne Bagha Byne and Hirak Rajar Deshe will also be on display .

"It includes those that he designed for the noblemen in Hirak… and also the set he designed for Shatranj Ke Khilari. We also have the complete set of title cards of Kanchanjungha.

Graffiti flavour
" Another interesting part of the exhibition will be the unused title cards of Joi Baba Felunath, where he designed the font in such a way that it resembled the graffiti on the walls of houses in Varanasi. The Bengali typeface in them has a unique Hindi flavour," says Sandip.

The exhibition will showcase rare headpieces of stories designed by Ray illustrations for Sandesh, magazine and artworks done by him while he was a student of Kala Bhavan in Shantiniketan.

"A detailed shooting schedule of Sonar Kella made by him with colour on a cartridge paper will also be displayed," says Sandip, who is open to the idea of taking the exhibition to the rest of the country if he gets sufficient logistic support.