In line with its resolve to promote inclusivity and close the accessibility gap between art and people with disabilities, the National Gallery of Modern Art is holding a week-long celebration to commemorate the 119th Birth Anniversary of Indian pioneer artist Binod Bihari Mukherjee.
Awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1974, Mukherjee was one of the pioneers of Indian Modern Art and a key figure of contextual Modernism. He was one of the earliest artists in modern India to take up murals as a mode of artistic expression.
The seven-day workshop, which started yesterday, raises awareness about BB Mukherjee’s unique capacity for concentration despite his drawbacks.
For those who are unaware, Mukherjee had visual and ocular problems right from the birth – he had myopia in one eye and blindness in the other. Unfortunately, after a botched eye cataract surgery in 1956, he lost his vision, but he never let his focus on art stray. He kept working on large mural paintings even after the unsuccessful operation.
Binod Behari Mukherjee was born in 1904, in Behala, a town in West Bengal, which got incorporated into the city of Kolkata in 2009. His ancestral hamlet was Garalgachha in the Hooghly District.
He got his early education at Sanskrit Collegiate School. In 1919, at 15 years of age he joined Kala Bhawan, the art faculty at Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan. He was Ramkinkar Baij’s buddy and close associate. He studied under the Indian artist Nandalal Bose, and later began working as a teaching faculty member at Kala Bhavan in 1925. During 1937 to 1938 he spent a few months in Japan with artists like Arai Kampo. Some of his works show a marked influence of traditional wash technique of China & Japan. In 1948, he was appointed Director of National Museum, Kathmandhu in Nepal.
Through the seven day celebration, the NGMA will host unique art workshops as also tours around the gallery for people with disabilities. Anubhuti/ Immerse yourself in ar. Touch and feel the tour of our sculpture garden and Ashruti/ Fingers talk – unique walkthrough for hearing challenged, are just a few of the exclusive programmes created for people with disabilities.