State honour crowns Samarjit Roy Chowdhury's accomplishments | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 21, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

State honour crowns Samarjit Roy Chowdhury's accomplishments

State honour crowns Samarjit Roy Chowdhury's accomplishments

Samarjit Roy Chowdhury

This year, celebrated painter Samarjit Roy Chowdhury has received the Ekushey Padak for his outstanding contributions to Bangladeshi art. The painter said, “I am elated to receive the award. I don't have any regrets that the award has come late in my life. I am truly overwhelmed. This will encourage me to be more devoted to my work.”
Samarjit is recognised for folk motifs in his works. His paintings are a profound observation of rural Bengal and folk life -- simple harmonic patterns, pastoral motifs, serene atmospheres and childhood reminiscences. The painter feels that reminiscence has a great link with his creative life. As a child, painter recalls going to fairs and buying clay horses and elephants, various types of dolls and other knick knacks. “I would say that most of my inspiration actually comes from the past and a nostalgia and yearning towards that. I do a lot of research into past times, and I really love history as well as traditional culture. I love to combine my love of those things. I like to incorporate many elements in my work,” said Samarjit.
In recent times, the painter has sought to blend a modern approach with his folk-based works. His recurring motifs are birds, kites, leaves, wild flowers, boats, plants and fish. Scribbles and thick lines crisscross over his paintings. His lines are not polished at all. The uneven lines create an individual language, highlighting a rural essence.
The painter said, “I try to capture the lively moments of the rural Bengal. Village festivities, villagers' joys and despair, rural life and its varied aspects have always fascinated me.”
Samarjit draws inspiration from indigenous objects such as Lokkhi-shora and pata-chitra. His lines and colours are also motivated by clay dolls and ancient ballads. His works present a combination of traditional and modern geometric, abstract forms.
Adroit application of light and shades are evident. Besides restless curves, geometric forms, rectangular-triangular and broken lines make his images noteworthy. Playing with forms is Samarjit's forte. Among the avant-garde second generation of contemporary artists in Bangladesh, Samajit seeks to represent our culture, heritage and traditions. As a painter, he believes he has certain responsibilities to the motherland.
Born in 1937 in Comilla, he graduated in Graphic Design from the Government Art Institute (presently Faculty of Fine Art, Dhaka University) in 1960. There he was guided by Zainul Abedin, Quamrul Hassan, Anwarul Huq, Mohammed Kibria and Safiuddin Ahmed. Samarjit also taught at the same institution for a long 43 years. Following his retirement, he joined the Shanto Mariam University of Creative Design as Dean of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts where he worked till 2010. He is presently serving as supernumerary professor at the University of Dhaka.
The painter has held six solo exhibitions. A recipient of several awards, he has taken part in over 200 group exhibitions in the country and abroad.

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