Time for Celebrations

Craftspersons/ Artisanal, Op-Ed

Time for Celebrations: Indian artist wins 15th NOMA CONCOURS (2006)

Majumdar, Minhazz

Pradyumna Kumar is the first Indian artist ever to win the Grand Prize at the prestigious 15th NOMA Concours for Picture Book Illustrations. His entry " How the Firefly Got Its Light " a series inspired by Mithila paintings was selected as the best amongst 522 entries from 48 countries, no mean achievement for an artist who entered a competition for the first time. The NOMA Concours is organized biennially by Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) supported by Noma International Book Development Fund. The purpose of the Concours is 'to discover up-and-coming illustrators, graphic designers and artists in Asia (except Japan), the Pacific, Africa, Arab States, and Latin America & the Caribbean, to provide an opportunity at which they can present their works to offer incentives for their creative activities'.
What makes Pradyumna's win more impressive is that he only took to art about 5 years ago after a surgery reduced chances of him continuing with his job as a land surveyor. Totally self-taught, he has been influenced by his wife Mala Karn and his sister-in-law Pushpa Kumari, who are amongst the finest contemporary artists in the Mithila tradition. Mithila art, also known as Madhubani art, is typical of the Mithila region of Bihar, North India and are a vital part of the cultural traditions of the area. Traditionally, women drew these ceremonial paintings on walls and floors, depicting religious and social themes. These paintings were means of visual education, a way of passing down stories, myths ...
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