Netherlands, India artists collaborate on Durga Puja art in Kolkata

PTI | Kolkata | Updated: 02-10-2023 12:36 IST | Created: 02-10-2023 12:36 IST
Netherlands, India artists collaborate on Durga Puja art in Kolkata
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Two artists from the Netherlands have teamed up with a local craftsman of Kolkata to give shape to this year's theme of a popular community Durga Puja, in an effort to showcase West Bengal's biggest festival to the global audience.

Martyna Maria Pekala and Benjamin Van Hoeij Schilthouwer Pompe have been working together with Behala Nutan Dal's artist Ayan Saha since they landed in the city in the beginning of September.

The Dutch duo was selected by a Kolkata-based social and cultural organisation, massArt, which has joined hands with UNESCO and the British Council to host a pre-puja event.

Maria and Benjamin, alumnus from a renowned art institute of the Netherlands, were chosen by an expert on Bengal contemporary art, known to a massArt member, informed its vice-president Sayantan Maitra. Behala Nutan Dal's theme this year is 'Tushti' (contentment), with artists trying to depict the satisfaction people experience after consuming 'fuchka' (a popular Bengali street food).

Speaking about the Indo-Dutch artists' collaboration, Dhrubajyoti Bose Suvo, secretary, massArt, said, ''When two diverse cultures intertwine, art becomes the universal language that unites them. The association is a testament to the beauty of cultural fusion.

''As the vibrant colours of the Netherlands blend with the rich heritage of India, those create a masterpiece that celebrates the divine feminine energy of goddess Durga.'' Dutch artists Martyna and Benjamin said they are working on video installation and animation related to the theme, which will be visible to the pandal hoppers at the entry point.

''It is a unique and very valuable experience for us, and it has been exciting to work with Ayan. We are really privileged to be a part of this wonderful collaborative process,'' they said.

A total of 24 crowd-puller community Durga Pujas of Kolkata have been selected by massArt for the 'Preview Show' ahead of the festivities, and Behala Nutan Dal is one among them. Two 'bonedi barir puja' (household pujas) have also been chosen for the preview show.

The pre-puja event will be attended by diplomats, tourists and art lovers, where the guests will have a chance to visit the 'pandals' (marquees) before those are thrown open to the public.

The preview show to be held at the Town Hall here from October 11 to October 15 will enable viewers to have a symbolic glimpse of the unique features of the pandals, idols and overall decoration.

Kolkata's Durga Puja was accorded UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) tag in 2021.

''In the confluence of Indian and Dutch artistry, we shall celebrate the divine spirit of Durga puja,'' Saha added.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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