Assam’s one of the senior most artists Champak Barbara recently showcased some of his art works at Mahabahu Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre in Panbazar (old Kamrup district magistrate’s bungalow) where the painter and cartoonist picked up issues that engulfed the human race including the corona virus disaster. The monthlong invitational exhibition (1 to 31 May 2022) attracted the attention of viewers many of whom were not usual appreciators of fine arts thanks to the unique initiative of Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority.
An artist, driven by a passion for knowledge, self-actualization and spiritual growth, Barbara for over two decades has been beguiling people with his dynamic awe-inspiring paintings and cheeky cartoons & caricatures, which has remained a visual treat for everyone. Widely known for his signature cartoon ‘Jocoserious’ in The Assam Tribune, Barbara maintains reverence to life and spirituality. His paintings convey a sense of immediacy and harmony with nature. The distinctive personal style and visual vocabulary possessed by Barbara emulate the innate sense of rhythm and peace expressing the vibrant spiritual and cultural atmosphere of northeast India with a new expansive and compelling perspective.
Over the years, Barbara used to work for several publications including Newstar, The Sentinel, Natun Dainik, Agradoot, Sutradhar, Bismay, Purvanchal Prahari, etc. His art works have been exhibited across many national and international forums and the political cartoons were cited in many critically acclaimed international volumes like The Bengal Borderland: Beyond State and Nation in South Asia by William Van Schendel. The former President of Gauhati Artist Guild conducted many national level painting workshops. He was invited as a panelist to varied creative platforms of repute like The River Talk: Northeast Literary Festival and Guwahati Lit Festival, etc.
“My art seeks to join my experiences and my philosophical outlook on life with the story of color. Living amidst the hustle-bustle of Guwahati, I experience life in all its colour and create art that shares a burst of life with others. Reflecting spirituality my art communicates the tension between the delicate nature of life and the resilience that lies inside each of us to face it,” said Barbara, adding that blending realism with the symbolic in his paintings, the visual language strives to let his personal, social and political impressions which finally navigate his creations.