WELL-BEING THROUGH ART WITH INDIAN ARTIST BASUKI DAS GUPTA
As we live under “lockdown” here in Palo Alto and many other places around the world, I have begun to feel an acceptance of this new reality and even an appreciation of what it offers: the opportunity to slow down and focus on the things that truly matter. In this new series here on Laasya Art’s blog, we will feature various visual and performing artists with unique perspectives on how art contributes to their wellbeing.
Today, I am thrilled to share this new poem by contemporary Indian artist Basuki Das Gupta. He is a truly multi-talented artist — he not only paints but also composes music, plays multiple instruments, sings, acts and writes. Before he became a full-time artist, he taught visual art and theater for 14 years in a school. (You can read his life’s story on a past blog post here.)
For Basuki, creative acts help him work through his emotions and center himself. He deeply believes that art is vitally important to feel balanced and centered. Even the remarkable texture of his mixed media paintings is rooted in this belief, reminding him of seeking calmness in the carved temple corridors in his hometown of Bishnupur in West Bengal.
In his own words on our current global situation:
Everything will change, everything has to change.
The language of art will change, the language of music will change.
The definition of beauty will change, the definition of relationship will change.
All those conventional faiths and age-long beliefs I was carrying on my shoulders for centuries
I am now forced to pause, I have to rethink and redefine the whole concept of human existence and the truth of nature.
I have to change my kitchen
I have to change my poetry
I have to redesign my language to respond
I have to rebuild the relation between you and me, me and nature.
Even the concept of borders between countries may change
We are desperately in search of a new vaccine
We need a newer language that can communicate with today’s pandemic
For the older medicine has no words
Have we not been proud of our ego?
We torture and kill the river, the hills, the mountains, animals, birds
And all in the name of human civilisation.
In the name of civilisation, we developed a culture of cruelty,
an unscientific science, heartless art.
And we are proud of it!!
It’s time to change the medicine.
We are on the extreme edge.
We lied to ourselves.
We were in a proxy war with a fake imaginary enemy, a weaker one.
Our ego never allowed us to look at the real one.
Until yesterday what was all strong, powerful, extremely meaningful.
Art, philosophy, poetry, literature, confidence
All have became still in front of the original
And we don’t know how to react, how to respond.
We need a new language.
It is time to change the definition of relationship
We have to learn to live within nature.
We have to reformat
We have to lose our so called age long successes, our greedy past.
Only then we will be in balance again.
– Basuki Das Gupta
Thank you to Basuki for sharing this beautiful poem, calling on us to be mindful of our impact on the environment and to respect the Earth. As we stay home and pause our usual routines, we have the chance to imagine a new future together.
For any sales inquiries on Contemporary Indian artist Basuki Das Gupta’s paintings,
please get in touch at +1 650-770-9088 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Best wishes to everyone for good health and peace of mind!
— Sonia Nayyar Patwardhan