Related Links

Art of Asudev

Art & Artists

Assamese Poetry

Assamese Fiction

Music From Assam

An Artist’s World

A profile of Asudev
by Jinny Barman

Sri Asudev is remembered today as one among the few artists whose work and contribution in the field of Assamese Modern Art is still an inspiration for the young artists of today’s generation. Born on December 13, 1917 in Dhubri, Asom, his first exhibition was held in April 1952 at Guwahati. It was a one man show organised by Sarbeswar Chakravarty of Guwahati, inaugurated by Justice Holiram Deka and presided by Dr B Barooah at the Kamrup Academy Hall. By 1982, many exhibitions of Sri Asudev were organised.

Asudev was a person in search of truth in his own way and his work is proof of his dedication and passion for art and sculpture. He concentrated on different modes of man’s life and animals, natural sceneries, designs of textile art etc. He loved colours and used to experiment with them in every work he did. He spent his life studying colour theories and the effects of linear structures. He used to prepare his works very carefully. He tried to express the life of rural Asom through his own technique. Sri Asudev’s paintings were very much traditional but yet so lively and spiritual. In some of his paintings, he used pointillism technique (in which artists use small dots or strokes of contrasting colour to create subtle changes in form). Pointillists generate a different range of colours when compared to artists using traditional colours or colour mixing techniques. His drawings constitute a vivid record of life. The canvas is brilliant with colour, movement and light. All the paintings, sketches, landscape and compositions he has done have a fantastic way of expression and sentiment in them. The most famous paintings and portraits include Stream (oil on canvas) 1936, Looking for fish (water colour tempera) 1965, Portraits of Bela (his wife) (oil on canvas) 1956, Fulfillment (oil on ply board) 1963. One can feel his bright side through the strokes and colours he has used. There are more beautiful works which came from his hands. “This life is full of vitality and colours, so why neglect it?”

He left us on February 6, 1983, but his work and ideas are still alive. His son Anutosh Deb has recently launched a website on June 30, 2006, at the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra, Guwahati. This is the North East’s first website on an artist. Goutam Sharma, Secretary, Kalakshetra, writer Atulananda Goswami, artists Neelpawan Baruah, Noni Borpujari, Sobha Brahma, poet Hiren Bhattacharjee and Dr P Mahanta were present at the launch of this remarkable website. Sri Deb, being the son of this pioneer artist, thought of creating such a site to help the amateur artists, art lovers, friends and the next generation to learn and see how his father worked hard day and night to create his imagination and bring it to life.

Asu da, as he was called by his loved ones and friends, created magic with his hands even when he was weak and getting old. The desire was still there to come up with new ideas which could help others to feel the intense meaning of the word called “Art”. The website has everything which one wishes to know about Asu da, his paintings and sculptures. The website mainly contains six very important write-ups over the span of three decades and it focuses on the artist’s life, progress, his journey and love and the respect people had for him. It also contains letters, family photographs etc. The website is very useful, especially for art students and also for admirers of the artist. The site contains a lot of important information. It has been segmented in such a way that anyone can understand and get motivated easily. ‘Art Gallery’ is a folder which contains all his works and collector’s details. ‘Chronicle’ has the complete details about the artist, including his memorable exhibitions. ‘Family folder’ is about his family. His mother was Kadambini Devi and father was Umesh Chandra Deb, who was a research scholar on Sankaradeva. He had written the biography of Sri Sri Sankaradeva in Bengali script, which was first published by the author in the Bengali year 1327. This folder also contains pictures of his wife Bela Deb (who expired on May 1 1994 at Guwahati), son Anutosh Deb, daughter-in-law Tulirekha Deb, and grand daughter Anurekha Deb. It also has the picture of their ancestral house. The ‘Sketches’ folder contains special and inspiring sketches from the sketch book of the artist which can be very beneficial for our amateur artists and it can be viewed clearly at this site. The ‘Letter’ folder contains the letters of many people who had known Asudev closely and socially, those who had seen his work and shared his thoughts and those who truly thought that Asudev succeeded in revealing his heart in his paintings and sculptures. Well, then comes the Photo Gallery. In this segment one can see how close he was to his family, friends, colleagues and students. It contains the pictures of many such people who were the students of Asudev and now are renowned painters and artists of Asom. Those who were trained under him can never forget his way of teaching and his philosophy. Today, many artists remember each and every word he had said to them and they are trying to follow it. “Acknowledgements, organisations” have the names of organisations where his work is being displayed and is being kept safely. The “Life and Time” section contains opinions and letters received by Asudev from well known people of Asom. Asudev was also the founder member of the Gauhati Artists Guild (GAG), Guwahati, the Art Society of NE India at Chandmari, Guwahati and the founder teacher of Gauhati Art School, Pan Bazar, Guwahati. All his students of Gauhati Artists Guild (GAG) remember Asudev as a most energetic and highly motivating artist. He had no bitterness, no hatred, no negativity and no arrogance in his works, which inspired and motivated the artists and students, and also the common man who has loved his works. His last participation was in September 1982. It was a group exhibition sponsored by the Asom Progressive Writers and Artists Association on the occasion of the third state conference and was inaugurated by film director and artist Purnendu Patri.

An artist like Asudev may not be alive but his presence will be with us always through his paintings and sculptures. Anutosh Deb has made it easy for the world to know and see the creative side of Asudev. Those who want to know more about him can visit the website and explore his creativity, or contact his son Anutosh Deb. All the information and details are in the site This web site is a tribute to a father from his only son.

Courtesy: The Assam tribune

Back   Top

Home | Assamese Poetry | Assamese Fiction | Music From Assam
Sign GuestBook | View GuestBook