Interview: Bengali-American Painter Saumi Nandy



Video: Saumi Nandy chats with Subhomoy Mukherjee of WBRi in Kolkata

Scorpion - A Painting by Saumi NandyCalcutta, Nov 3, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Saumi Nandy is a passionate painter, a compulsion almost akin to breathing as she states. The California based Bengali painter was born and bought up in the ‘city of joy’ completing her schooling from Calcutta Girl’s High School. She then completed her bachelor degree in English Hons and went abroad to earn her MBA degree in Human Resource Management from The University Of Abertay, Dundee, Scotland. She worked as a Human Resource Executive for a leading MNC giving up a lucrative career to pursue her calling.

Raised by artistically inclined parents she found a natural calling to art.” I have been painting for 18 years under the able tutelage of various genres of artists” she says. Her art is inspired heavily by her forays to various Indian and European and American museums which aims to fuse the delicateness of Indian art with the boldness of the European modern art masters. She states “To me art is the medium through which I convey my innermost thoughts. It is a medium through which I can express myself freely, my emotions take shapes, I become pure and my soul gets cleansed.”

Art has always been there with her, so it is very hard to pinpoint a date as to when she began. Scribbling on walls, papers, books almost anything that she could lay her hands on…..led her parents to enroll her for art classes under the tutelage of Mr. Samir Ghosh. It was under his guidance for 12 years that she learnt the nuances of water color, tempera, oil and wash techniques.

Years of practice paid off in the form of good reviews for her joint exhibition with her tutor Samir Ghosh in The Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata in the year 1994. She also became a regular contributor to the children’s magazine called “Sondesh “where her conviction for art got reinforced by the accolade she got for a sketch of an old mosque of Murshidabad, by none other than Satyajit Ray himself!

Her passion took a sabbatical, as she went off to Scotland to earn an MBA degree. Career and domesticity followed thereafter for some time.

Years later around the year 2000 – 2008 travelling extensively in Europe, USA, Canada North Africa and Asia, visiting art museums and galleries, monuments,  reignited her passion for art,  making her rembark once again  in the colorful world of paint, canvases and brushes.

2009 was a landmark year for her, “I had my solo exhibition in Genesis Art Gallery, Kolkata. As destiny would have it, I met my mentor Mr Hiran Mitra during that time” she adds. His abstract nonfigurative work mesmerized her, reshaping her work and creativity.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara - painting by Saumi NandyHer work is a celebration of life and freedom, the experiences about the day to day life and the constant agony of living in a land that is not her own fuses in her work, sometimes through the use of strong colours or sometimes just through a sublime white.  Vibrations from various moments come across in the canvas as bold strokes or as a thin film of light filtering through a wash of white. Life with its constant possibilities is to be celebrated and the journey that we undertake has to be recorded. Saumi tries to encapsulate that through her work in canvas enjoying the freedom through her abstract nonfigurative style. It is a medium through which space, time, experiences with people and places shed their inhibitions and form the mosaic of life.

Her work includes designing the cover of the book  Alo Alotoro, Alotomo by poet Shoumya Dasgupta, Numerous brochures, websites and flyer covers for BASC ( The Bengali Association of Southern California ) , Piyasi Los Angeles , IIT Kharagpur Southern California Alumni Association, and Ujani ( Florida Bengali Association ).

She has had numerous forays in designing stage sets for theatre and performing arts. She regularly contributes towards charity through her Art for Swanirvar.

Her future plans include various projects, installations, exhibitions in Kolkata, various cities in India and Los Angeles, USA.  She is the chairperson of the Design and Decoration Committee of NABC,( North America Bengali Community)  Las Vegas 2012.

Today she resides with her husband Ujjayan in Irvine Southern California, a land blessed with sun, mountains and sea trying to find a bit of India and humanity in her work and surroundings.


Enhanced by Zemanta