Sajal Sarkar. Perilous Home, 2017, Watercolor on Paper, 22 x 30 inches
Sajal Sarkar: The Perilous Home
June 1–July 31
Sajal Sarkar was deeply affected by the dislocation of his parents and grandparents from their homeland, as they fled from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) to Calcutta (now Kolkata) to escape the ethnic riots that erupted between India and Pakistan in 1947. Sajal was born and raised in Kolkata, where the political situation remained very vulnerable throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, and these early experiences increased his desire to respond to the world with peace, love, and compassion.
After migrating to the U.S., Sajal continued exploring existential questions. Like many artists, he has been deeply affected by the relentless cycles of violence and suffering throughout the world and the endless wars, industrial and environmental pollution, racial bigotry, and excessive consumption of natural resources that threaten our very existence. He explains, “This uncertainty of the life of the planet we call home has shaken my trust and confidence in the future of humanity. This sense of loss is why the images of earth are repeatedly coming into my visual space. Equipped with a deep compassion for human life and spirit, I want to take full advantage of the challenges this life offers, to explore fresh creative avenues and produce newer images that extol life.”
Sajal graduated from Government College of Art and Craft, Kolkata in 1989 with a degree in painting. He began his artistic career as an illustrator for Anandabazar Patrika, a leading Bengali newspaper, and was a regular contributor to various magazines and children’s books. He studied at Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and completed a post-graduate diploma in printmaking in 1995. Sajal has been awarded numerous fellowships and grants, and has shown his work internationally in solo and group exhibitions. His works are in the collections of the Library of Congress, Washington D.C., National Gallery of Modern Art and Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi as well as in several private collections.
Sajal has taught at various art schools in India and taught art to children with special needs at the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy, Kolkata. For more than 20 years he worked with the Painting and Printmaking department at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India as an external jury member and played a major role in co-curricular programs such as art workshops and artist portfolios. He now works as an Art Instructor at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in Summit.
To learn more about the artist, please visit www.sajalnsarkar.com.