the book makes a historical encounter with analytical anecdotes of an emerging Indian art trend. It speaks of a regional spell, virgin
overawe and a future promise. It impresses the reader with the paraphernalia of an art movement trying to match the glory and
distinction of its past art heritage.
Dilip Kumar Tripathy, Studies art in Bhubaneswar and Art Historical at Santiniketan. Worked as Research Assistant in the
Crafts council of Orissa. Done extensive field work in Orissa. Awarded Pha.D. For The Role of fine Arts in the Folk Theatres of
South Orissa by the Berhampur University. Undertook a course in Art Conservation in NRLC, Lucknow. Contributed articles to
Oddiyan, Six Contemporary Painters, 1997, Reference Orissa, 2000. Presently working in the Conservation Section, Lalit Kala
Akademi, New Delhi.
Pradosh Kumar Mishra, studied Art History in Bhubaneswar and Chandigarh. Done field work with the stone carves of
Lalitgiri in Orissa. Continuing Ph.D. project. Edited a monograph, Chandrasekhar Rao : Life and Work with Dinanath Pathy.
Contributed article to Oddiyan, Six Contemporary Painters, 1997. Presently teaching Art History at the Banaras Hindu
The emphasis on documentation of art and art process with emphasis on the ‘visual’ aspects is amply evident in the book
Orissa Kunst und Kulture in Nordost Indian published by the Museum Rietberg. Zurich in 1980 which accompanied an
exhibition of classical, folk, tribal arts and performances from Orissa. Dr. Eberhard Fischer the primemover, the Director of the
Museum, the only international Museum of non-European art in Europe, has remained sensitive to visual art practice not only of a
single Indian state but worldwide where the artists live with their art and traditions. This has resulted in a world view of art
situations and based on this vision Fischer has structured Orissa art as classical, primitive, rural and contemporary –
contemporary in the sense of a continuing tradition in a single publication, never attempted before. His book has still as a
comprehensive, well-meaning document fresh with superb quality visuals. The Government of Orissa’s attempt to get it translated
into English failed.
Such analytical and creative research beyond the antiquarian interest comes to us a legacy of the unique study and artistic
sensibility of the painter, sculptor Alice Boner who had worked on the Shipla traditions more than half a century ago with a
penetrating and critical vision to fathom into the art-psyche than to factualise art as history. Being as artist herself, she could read
the minds and working parameters of the artists better which the so called historians failed to perceive in their search for historical
anecdotes. Her book New Light on the Sun Temple of Konark has remained unsurpassed. The scientific menthodology,
artistic insight, scholarship and commitment that have gone into making this book are to be unquestionably appreciated and
admired. We could relate these two books with two different thrusts, dimensions and engagements as a common basis of
art-historical understanding and inquiry into our artists’ mindsets and working relations. We wish to respect these two research
documents as documents of great consequences and value.
Dr. Eberhard Fischer chose to train a sensitive contemporary Orissan artist, Dinanath Pathy, two decades ago with the enormous
take of documenting the art forms of continuing art practices with a vision and insight. Induction into such a study process was
contrary to the historical studies of earlier days in Orissa. Dr. Fischer’s school of research is a departure from the lingering
historical tangles-typically seen in museum studies or the practice of art- history in the department of Ancient art, culture,
archaeology and history in Indian universities.
The intention of such a prelude is to find our the roots of art- ethological and art-historical research with linkages to studio practice
in a fine art college of the kind we are hinting at in Orissa, where the artist is in the centre of the focus and dates and dynasties are
kept aside for the time being. The other effort is to assess the benefits reaped by the Working Artists’ Association of Orissa from
such research practices. Such an introduction therefore may seem remote at the beginning, but a closer introspection would reveal
the strong links, which are rather vital in our context. We also bring into our purview and record our deep appreciation on the
research done by Joanna Williams and J.P. Das. Their work on Orissa painting with emphasis on individual art-styles has opened
up different dimensions and created awareness for individualistic studies.
I am perhaps more privileged to mention here that both Dinanath Pathy and J.P. Das are founder member of the Working Artists’
Association which had been officially formed in Bhubaneswar in 1973 (its initial starting was in 1969, with a publication), to
recognise new experimentations in contemporary art. Both of them contributed significantly to the study of Orissan painting, while
we present this book on the artists-scholars. Their efforts have remained exemplary in building up this organisation and to bring
art-historical research to international heights.
Another important factor which finally helped us in getting this book published is the link with our founder member Pushpa Jain
who is no more with us. Her untimely sad demise left relations. Her husband, our dear friend and admirer, Mahesh Chand Jain, has
been instrumental in realizing our dreams, persuading MTNL to partly sponsor this Project. We are grateful to him as well as to the
memory of his wife when this book goes to Print. This publication is more of a timely dedication to her loving memory.
This book is the result of an in-house indigenous teamwork headed by Dr. Pathy. Indigenous in the sense that all the scholars
barring Alekh Charan Sahoo (who studies at Santiniketan and Baroda) are the products of B.K. Collage of Art and Crafts and Utkal
University. They were the first student of art-history. We take pride in the contributions of Dr. Dilip Kumar Tripathy (who studied at
B.K. Collage of Art. Bhubaneswar and at Santiniketan), Prodosh Kumar Mishra (who studies at B.K. Collage of Art Bhubaneswar
and at Chandigarh) and Soubhagya Pathy (who Studied English literature and art-history at Utkal University and at Indira Kala
Sangeet Viswa Vidyalaya, Khairagarh) which have enriched this publication. Sri Sahoo’s write-up on the Khallikote School of Art
and Crafts gives a fair idea of recent art activities in the institution. We are therefore thankful to hi. The book had to be compiled,
edited and sent to the press in a record in this of four months, the contributors have put in their best, derived from their long
research in this line for years. I express my deep sense of gratitude to my friend and collegue Dinanath Pathy and his team of
Researchers and contributors.
Most of the photographs for the book have been taken by Ramahari jena, D.N. Rao and Parabjit Singh. The book has been initially
drafted at the Alice Boner Institute, Varanasi, Assi Sangam and typed on the computer by Dhirendra Humar Sahoo and later the
final work at Avanti E 49/1386 Bhimatangi, Bhubaneswar by Soubhagya Pathy and P. Gita.
The designing of the book has been accomplished by Ramahari Jena, D.N. Rao and Balakrishna Nanda working together at
Bhubaneswar and printing supervision by Dilip Kumar Tripathy at Delhi. I extend my thanks and appreciation for their good
The title book Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom ia aptly chosen from the old Chinese saying revalidate for the Chinese
Culture Revolution in the recent past; the editor is not merely romantic but meaningful in a context when Orissa contemporary art is
getting ascendance and coming within the purview of national and international debate. It is not only the aspiration of the editor or
the Working Artists’ Association but of the people of Orissa to see Orissan contemporary art and artists grow and blossom
spreading fragrance far and wide.
The Working Artists’ Association is probably the only organisatgion in Orissa which has embarked upon publishing a large number
of standard books and catalogues on Orissa art during the last decades. Publication of books on art and artists in appreciable
standard and getups has been our forte. May I be permitted to mention a few books which are vital for research on art. These are
Jagannatha and the Oriya Artists, the Tribal Art – Primitivism and the Modern Relevance, Oddiyan – sex Contemporary Artists,
Continuity in the Flux – Orissa, History of Traditional Orissan Paintings; plus the monograph series on contemporary artists -
Dinanath Pathy, Sarat Chandra Debo, Siba Panigrahi and Chandrasekhar Rao. The present publication adds to the list and aspires
to be base book on Orissan contemporary art.
We have written to all the practicing Orissan artists and institutions in Orissa and outside to respond. We have tried to contact most
of them individually seeking thank those who earnestly deserve our thanks. Our publication would have been more fruitful if we
had got responses from other artists and institutions, particularly the State Lalit Kala Akademi. Therefore the omission in this book
is not intentional and does not undermine their valuable contribution to the cause of contemporary art. We once again extend our
thanks to all contemporary artists practicing and non-practicing and art organizations active or dormant for their concern with this
On behalf on the Working Artists’ Association I wish to thank the MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, Delhi) for their
sponsorship and to the individual artists and friends for their financial help.
Finally, Sri Vikas Arya Books International, New Delhi, deserves our thanks for favourably responding to the challenge of printing
this book – normally almost impossible a feat for a publisher working within a severely limited time frame.
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