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Colours of the human mind

chandigarh Updated: Jan 13, 2014 11:52 IST
Nanki Singh
Nanki Singh
Hindustan Times
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Known fondly as ‘dada’ in the Indian art scene, Aloke Tirtha Bhowmick is in town to showcase his paintings that reflect the manifold problems of the modern human mind.

Born and brought-up in a culturally nurturing family in West Bengal, Dada’s inclination towards painting and the performing arts was made evident at an early age, as he exhibited his first solo show at the age of 15, while still in school at Santiniketan, Visva-Bharati University, founded by the late Rabindranath Tagore.

Having learnt under great artists such as the late Tyeb Mehta and dramatists such as the late Habib Tanvir, Dada was inspired by their work ethic and approach towards creating something from scratch.

Dada’s style, however, is all his own, he believes. “My technique is entirely my own, and I use my hands to create art, besides brushes and other tools. My paintings are very dramatised — there is movement in figures — and I want people looking at my paintings to feel that movement,” says he.

As far as being influenced goes, his idol is Rabindranath Tagore, both for his paintings and poetry.

A majority of thinkers of the 19th century believed in the Dual Brain theory, which noted psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud challenged by introducing the three-part mind theory.

Dada, however, believes we have many more folders in our brain. “Like most people, I am interested in different things in my life in different ways. I don’t approach everything with the same frame of mind and that is something I am also trying to show in my paintings,” says he.

On December 27 last year, he performed a fusion piece at the Mussourie Winter Carnival with singer Lucky Ali and percussionist Sivamani, where he painted in tandem with their musical performance. "It was a very interesting experience and I found that the audience took to it quite well," he says.

Dada has been working on the subject of the human mind since 1989 and believes that alongside, he found his own style. “People now look at my paintings and know that it is my work.”

Currently the head of Art and Media Centre, Doon School Dehradun, Dada believes art education is just as important as math or science. “School is the right time to get children interested in art. Once in college, their inclination to learn tends to lessen if they haven’t been taught about it beforehand,” he says.

With 24 solo shows and 100 shows in both India and abroad, his artwork has been collected by various state governments in India, besides some private buyers.

The exhibition is on at the Government Museum and Art Gallery in Sector 10 till January 18. The paintings are priced between Rs 15,000 and Rs 70,000.