08:57 GMT30 July 2021
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    India’s north-eastern state Assam is a home to diverse cultures. Several artists have been working relentlessly to promote the state’s culture but a young artist from the town of Silchar in the Cachar district is preserving it through his art.

    Having anchored himself in the craft of folk-culture artistry, Uttam Ghoshe continues to document his personal response to the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic.

    The virus-induced lockdowns turned his life upside down but the time and space afforded by these restrictions - as well as his passion for art - have helped this young artist to connect with the world in a broader way through online art workshops and exhibitions.

    Talking to Sputnik about art, he said: “Art is the only medium to fight a tough situation like this and explore our inner feelings.”

    All his paintings carry his own unique sign, his thumbprint, as it were - a symbol of a palm-leaf hand fan (specially made in southern Assam) and a mask - that symbolise his love for the folk culture and the message that society should remain protected.

    The painting encapsulating the harmony as the essential trait in every aspects of life. The fan symbolises Silchar's folk culture and the mask is being featured as a shield against the Covid pandemic
    © Sputnik
    The painting encapsulating the harmony as the essential trait in every aspects of life. The fan symbolises Silchar's folk culture and the mask is being featured as a shield against the Covid pandemic

    He said that his love and passion for art document his expression of existence and reflect his heart and soul.

    Ghoshe said he developed his love of painting when he was in Class 3. “My father admitted me to an art school where I won my first silver medal in an art competition,” he revealed.

    The silver medal in the first art competition inspired Ghoshe to pursue his passion. After completing his schooling, he participated in various art exhibitions and workshops under Lalit Kala Akademi in India’s capital city Delhi.

    “In one workshop, India’s top artist Vasudeo Kamath praised my work and advised me to showcase the culture of my home district so that people could know about it,” Ghoshe recalled.

    He started incorporating local culture into his painting following Kamath's advice.

    “I have depicted Dhamail, Kachari Fort, and other famous cultural things around the town of Silchar in the Cachar district of Assam. This has also given me a unique place among the artists: people have started to recognise me,” said Ghoshe.

    The painting based on folk culture
    © Sputnik
    The painting based on folk culture

    Dhamail is a form of Bengali folk music and dance in the Barak valley region of Assam. It is performed by a group of women especially during the marriage ceremony or in any festival. It is a unique form of dance in which women move in a circle by clapping their hands to the beat of the music and rhythm of drums.

    Ghoshe's paintings also focus on the Bengali Language Movement. Talking about the paintings on the movement, he says: “This movement holds a lot of significance in Silchar. So, I thought to spread the awareness about the movement through my paintings.”

    • Artworks based on angel painting series
      Artworks based on angel painting series
      © Sputnik
    • Painting characterising angel and has the bamboo tree leaves in its background
      Painting characterising angel and has the bamboo tree leaves in its background
      © Sputnik
    • An untitled series on fish paintings
      An untitled series on fish paintings
      © Sputnik
    • An untitled series on fish paintings
      An untitled series on fish paintings
      © Sputnik
    • An Indian symbolic painting
      An Indian symbolic painting
      © Sputnik
    1 / 5
    © Sputnik
    Artworks based on angel painting series

    The Bengali Language Movement (Bhasha Shahid Divas) is celebrated every year on 19 May to commemorate the 11 martyrs who sacrificed their life for the sake of protecting the Bengali language.

    Talking about creating opportunities during the pandemic, Ghoshe said that the pandemic has affected the world adversely "but I personally believe that it has helped me".

    “The online art workshops and exhibitions help artists such as me to connect with internationally acclaimed artists. Their guidance and expertise help me to explore my art in a better way,” Ghoshe added.

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