Orijit Sen

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Orijit Sen (born 1963) is an Indian graphic artist and designer. His graphic novel River of Stories, published in 1994 by Kalpavriksh,[1] is considered as the first graphic novel of India. He co-founded People Tree[2] in 1990 as a "collaborative studio and store for artists, designers, and craftspeople." He is one of the founders of The Pao Collective[3] of comic book artists; PAO: The Anthology Of Comics 1 by Penguin Books India won the 2nd Comic Con India Awards 2012[4] in the best graphic anthology category. He is Mario Miranda Chair visiting professor at Goa University.[5] The Disappearing Tiger,[6] a T-shirt designed by him, is currently featured at The Fabric of India[7] exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. His diverse works, which include public art works, have been exhibited in India, England, Russia, France, Japan, Canada, and various other countries.

Background[edit]

Orijit Sen studied at the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad in the 1980s. He recalled that "I read whatever underground comics I could get my hands on. These included Robert Crumb and Art Spiegelman. I was blown away by Spiegelman’s Maus."[8] In his words, Maus validated his artistic convictions and inspired him to pursue drawing and making comics. After leaving NID Ahmedabad, Sen got involved with the Narmada Bachao Andolan and worked closely with the activists and the displaced adivasis. With the help of a grant from a non-profit organisation Kalpavriksh,[9] Sen created India's first graphic novel as well as non-fiction comics River of Stories.[10]

Sen faced a tough time trying to find readers for River of Stories. Many "bookshops refused to stock it as it didn’t fit into any of the categories that they displayed"[11] and Sen was compelled to stock it at his studio and shop People Tree. River of Stories is now out of print. However, in the last one decade in India, a loyal and serious readership of graphic novels and comic books has been developing gradually and Sen is going to bring out a new edition of River of Stories very soon.

Sen created Telling Tales for over two years for India Magazine. He worked on the illustration for Trash!: On Ragpicker Children and Recycling (2004). He collaborated with Manipuri artists to create IMUNG: Manipur Home Care Handbook, a guide for HIV and AIDS healthcare in Manipur. He put together a set of comics for the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), India.

Sen is creating the visual identity of the first ever India-Palestine theatre collaboration Freedom Jatha[12] between Jana Natya Manch (Janam), Delhi, India and The Freedom Theatre, Jenin, Palestine; he's designed five original Freedom Jatha artworks. Sen's collaboration with Janam dates back to 1992 when he first designed the set, poster and brochure for the production of Govind Purushottam Deshpande's Satyashodhak on the life and times of Jyotirao Phule. The Janam logo is also a 2007 creation by Sen.

Projects[edit]

The Pao Collective - Sen is one of the five founders of The Pao Collective. Founded in 2009, the collective aims to "support comics as a medium and a culture in India. Originally, they imagined establishing an outpost of sorts for comics culture in Delhi, from which they could reach out to and support creators in other cities and areas around the country."[13] PAO: the Anthology of Comics Volume 1 published by Penguin India in 2012 won the 2nd Comic Con India Awards 2012 in the best graphic anthology category.

A Place In Punjab - 7 storey-high[14] "walk-through mural experience" that takes the visitor through sights and insights of Punjabi life [15] at the Virasat-e-Khalsa in Anandpur Sahib, Punjab. Sen conceived this mural project and worked with 13 collaborators to execute it. It opened in November 2011. The multimedia museum Virasat-e-Khalsa in which Sen's mural creation[16] is located was designed by renowned Boston-based architect Moshe Safdie.

Mapping Mapusa Market[17] - As the Mario Miranda Chair visiting professor at Goa University, Sen initiated Mapping Mapusa Market. It brings together "artists, designers, writers, teachers, students and interested members of the public to explore and document the complex life of the Mapusa Market in Goa from a variety of perspectives- illustrations, photographs, videos and interviews. The project looked at how a historical market evolved and how it is coping with the challenges of globalisation, consumerism and supermarket and mall culture".[18]

Exhibitions[edit]

  • The Fabric of India at the Victoria and Albert Museum,[19] London
  • From Punjab, with Love at Surrey Art Gallery, North Surrey, Canada - a digital reproduction of Sen’s famous 75 metre long fibreglass and acrylic mural at the Moshe Safdie designed Virasat-e-Khalsa Museum in Anandpur Sahib, India[20]
  • Imposters[21] an exhibition of screen printed posters at Galleryske, Bengaluru, India
  • A Place In Punjab[22] at Galleryske, Bengaluru, India

Bibliography[edit]

  • River of Stories (Kalpavriksh, 1994)
  • Telling Tales a column for India Magazine
  • Illustration work for Trash!: On Ragpicker Children and Recycling (2004)
  • IMUNG: Manipur Home Care Handbook, a guide for HIV and AIDS healthcare in Manipur
  • Hair Burns Like Grass[23] (in PAO: The Anthology Of Comics 1 by Penguin Books, India, 2012)
  • Emerald Apsara (in The Obliterary Journal by Blaft Publications, 2012, ISBN No : 9789383260799)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Books Out Of Print Environment and Development". Kalpavriksh. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "People Tree - a meeting ground – and of course, breeding ground too – of art, commerce and madness". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "The Pao Collective". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "2nd Annual Comic Con India Awards honors the Comics Industry of India". IIFL. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "Visiting Research Professors Programme, Goa University". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Disappearing Tiger at The Fabric of India exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  7. ^ "The Fabric of India exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  8. ^ "Interview with Orijit Sen". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Kalpavriksh". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "River of Stories A Blacklisting column by Mondipa Mondal". KINDLE. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Story Boxes: Orjit Sen by Payal Khandelwal". Kyoorius. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "Indo-Palestine theatre collaboration to come alive this winter". Business Standard. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "A History of The Pao Collective". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  14. ^ "Master Muralist + Graphic Novelist Orijit Sen Interprets Komagata Maru". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  15. ^ "The Magic Realism of Punjab". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  16. ^ "Graphic novelist Orijit Sen tells big stories by John Lucas". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  17. ^ "Mapping Mapusa Market". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  18. ^ "Mapping Mapusa Market-Illustrated talk by Orijit Sen". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  19. ^ "The Fabric of India exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  20. ^ "From Punjab, with Love". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  21. ^ "Pretend Posters". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  22. ^ "A Place in Punjab". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  23. ^ "Hair Burns Like Grass An excerpt from 'Pao: The Anthology of Comics'". OpenMagazine. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 

External links[edit]