"My passion for arts and crafts began when I was a small boy in Mayurbhanj, Orissa, and my grandmother bought me a terracotta toy from a street fair on the way back from puja. Fifty years ago there were ten times more festivals, fairs and village haats than today: places where a dozen makers of bamboo and basket work assemble, laying their wares on mats on the ground; further along a group of potters, beyond them khadi and ikkat weavers. I've seen it hundreds of times and I still love it.
Traditional folk and tribal objects still hold high energy for me. I want them to share the same space as a Chola bronze or a Brancusi: to dissolve the boundaries that keep the so-called ‘fine art’ separate from the work of India's Master artisans.
Although I have lived in Bombay and Delhi for many years, I am doing this in Bhubaneswar because of my roots in this ancient and multi-layered heritage. My inner landscape owes much to Odisha’s rice fields, the gold and Naples Yellow of its hay and earth, the village potters, the tribals’ shining smiles and their dhokra figurines.”
Jatin Das, Founder and Contemporary Artist
Jatin Das has been painting now for almost 60 years. Born in December 1941 in Mayurbhanj, Odisha, India, he studied at the Sir JJ School of Art, Bombay, under Professor S.B. Palsikar. Das has held 68 one-man shows, in India and abroad and has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions and artist camps. He works in oil, watercolour, ink, graphite and Conté. He has also created several murals and sculpture installations. His works feature in several public and private collections in India and abroad and have been auctioned by major international auctioneers like Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Osian’s.
Jatin Das has extensively lectured at numerous art and architectural colleges, museums and public forums, sharing his art and his understanding of contemporary and traditional art forms. He is also an advisor to many governments and private bodies. He has donated his works to several charities. His commitment to art and artists, towards creating a sensitivity for art and aesthetics, led him to a vision almost 30 years ago: to create a living art centre to preserve and promote visual arts and crafts of all cultures, by opening all doors in all directions to ventilate, energize and rejuvenate the centre in a national and international arena.
Jatin Das is the Founder and Chairman of JD Centre of Art that will house classical, contemporary, traditional and folk art, all under one roof. During the last 35 years, he has built a personal collection of contemporary works, of antiquities and of handicrafts, including the enormous Pankha collection, that has more than 6,000 hand fans. He is also donating most of his own works to the Centre currently under construction, in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Jatin Das was the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Padma Bhushan award.