Appreciating his passion for art and love for young artists, speakers at a memorial meeting here on Monday said the legacy of Kalidas Karmakar will live forever through his works.
Artists and art lovers with a heavy heart attended the ‘Remembrance Talk’ on internationally acclaimed artist Kalidas Karmakar arranged by Gallery Cosmos at Cosmos Atelier71 of Cosmos Centre in Malibagh.
The speakers recollected their memories with the artist and discussed his life and contribution to contemporary art of Bangladesh.
“Kalidas was not only a great artist but a good friend of ours also. He’ll be remembered and his memories will be with us forever,” said Gallery Cosmos Director Tehmina Enayet.
Artist Biren Shome, a longtime friend of the prolific artist recalled his journey with Kalidas Karmakar and his incredible sense of artistic expressions.
Former Bangladesh Ambassador to France Tufail K Haider, another friend of Kalidas categorised him among the greatest artists of the country.
“He (Kalidas) was one of the greatest and most creative artists of Bangladesh I’ve ever met,” he said.
Artist Afroza Jamil Konka remembered his contribution in supporting the young artists as Kalidas was one of the key figures who founded Cosmos Atelier-71 studio.
“I was mesmerised by his creativity and attitude towards life,” she added.
Professor Anisuzzaman Anis, Faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University (DU) mentioned about his caring attitude towards the young artists.
“He (Kalidas) always encouraged the young artists to push ahead and at the same time tried to learn from them as well,” he said.
Professor Bishwajit Goswami, Drawing & Painting Department of Fine Arts Faculty in DU termed Kalidas as a tireless artist.
“Kalidas was such a person who never got tired…through his art, he will be inspiring many more artists even after his departure,” he said.
Dr Konka Karmakar, eldest daughter of the artist said her father always tried to work for the country and its art and culture sector.
“My father always tried to represent Bangladesh…to take its art and introduce them to the world,” she said.
She also expressed desire to fulfill Kalidas’s lifelong dream of establishing a contemporary art museum and asked all the artists to come forward for this cause.
“I request Gallery Cosmos to arrange a yearly art workshop for young artists to commemorate my father and his love for this institution,” she added.
Artist Sourav Chowdhury said Cosmos Atelier-71 was a second home to Kalidas.
He also mentioned that the artist will always be a part of Cosmos family and declared that exhibitions commemorating Kalidas will be held in future.
Gallery Cosmos Executive Assistant Director Rumessa Mailloux and Kate Jaro Khan, Deputy head of HR of Cosmos Group also spoke at the programme among others.
The Ekushey Padak winning artist, Kalidas Karmakar, breathed his last on October 18.
Kalidas was awarded the Shilpakala Padak in 2016 and the Ekushey Padak in 2018 for his contribution to fine arts.
His diverse artworks featuring found objects, handmade paper, and oil on canvas prints have been widely exhibited throughout South Asia, Middle East, Europe, and the United States.
The artist’s very first solo art exhibition was held at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on August 7, 1976.
He won the Polish Government Scholarship in Graphic Art at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Art, Warsaw University; French Government Superior Scholarship in Fine Arts, for research in multicolour etching at Atelier-17, in Paris; Japan Foundation Fellowship on Japanese Woodblock Printing at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music; ICCR Special Scholarship for research in Contemporary Modern Sculpture, West Bengal Lalit Kala Academy Studio; and Asian Cultural Council New York, Fellowship with Artist Residency program in the US.
In 2006, he had received an ACC Fellowship to participate in a residency at the PointB Worklodge in Brooklyn.
Major works by the artist have been collected by Kihak Sung, Youngone Corporation, Korea and Bangladesh; Hiroshi Toda; Takeo Yamaki; Takashi Kobayashi; Abul Khair, chairman of Bengal Foundation; Ambassador Paulo Da Costa Franco, Gallery Cosmos, and many other private collectors, at home and abroad.