Haren Das (b 1921)
Haren Das was born in 1921 in a small village in East Dinajpur in the Bengal province of undivided India. Having spent his childhood in a farming community he observed crafts persons,particularly carpenters,weavers & image-workers & was inspired to draw- a talent that was soon recognized by his teachers & whom encouraged him to seek admission into the Government College of Art & Craft,Calcutta. Joining the art college under Mukul Dey, Haren graduated in 1944,subsequently doing a two-year course in art teachership at the school under the tutelage of Ramendranath Chakravorty.
In 1947 he joined the college first as a woodcut teacher & later as a full-fledged lecturer in the graphic arts department from 1951-1981. Haren exhibited widely,not only in India,but in the prestigious exhibitions in Europe,Japan & South America.
His work was characteristics by a single-minded determination to follow his course & an unwavering devotion to his craft. Never a firebrand that many of his more politically motivated contemporaries were in those days, Das remained faithful to the memories of his childhood,his rural roots & the struggles of his urban youth. The magic of black & white lent grace to his observations,while the period that he worked,coloured prints made by him were a technical feat.