In my long years of association with the artist Chandranath Das I have known him to be extremely alive to the nuances of the ever changing shades and moods of the Himalayas. The Himalayas he engages with is not merely the majestic peaks that leave us awestruck but also the people who are “rooted” as it were in this time – space of the mountains. For him the Himalayas is a living entity , not a remote beauty to be gazed at but an experience to be lived. Das’s love for the Himalayas was perhaps facilitated by his stay in Darjeeling where he is presently the Curator of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling.
Hence Darjeeling has been a work place for him where his creative energies coalesced into breathtaking paintings. In his work we see the effortless blend of artistic freedom and rigorous discipline. His formal training was in fine art from the Government College of Art, Kolkata which was followed by Master and Research degree (AMA) in Cultural Heritage & Restoration from Italy and UK. He has to his credit several awards which include “Senior Fellowship of Trevor Walden Trust” (UK) and senior Scholarship by Ministry of Higher Education” (Italy). An avid visitor of local museums his interest in visualarts and historical research has been a paramount source of inspiration in his life. His fascination with the semiotics of museum display and art conservation has made him the first AMA holder form outside the UK in the field of Museology. His painting is influenced by his exposure to the renowned art galleries of Europe and academic engagements with artists, conservators, art historians and educationalists.
The painter expresses his dreams, hopes, thoughts and even fear through his creative work of paintings on Himalaya. Being a deeply creative individual the art is an expression of his nature and inner self vividly expressed through the bold brush strokes. For he believes that paint in itself is replete with a joyous potential waiting to be unraveled, and to be able to use this material to portray a message is an ecstasy for him, more so as it translates in to a medium to share that joy with others.
Chandranath Das has held solo and group shows all over the world since the year 1986. His painting can be seen gracing the walls of Collections – Rashtrapati Bhavan, National Library, Kolkata. Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Darjeeling, Max Muller Bhawan, Kolata. Nehru Institute of Mountaineering Museum, Uttarkashi (UP), NF Railway Office. A significant number of his paintings are in private collections both home and abroad.
The versalility of the painter is manifest in the fact that he is the author of two books on Mountaineering and the Himalayas namely, Fabulous Collections of Darjeeling and Sikkim and Mountain and Mountaineering.
St Joseph’s College, Darjeeling