Chalk artist Ranjan Saikia wants to see the world through art

ANINDITA DAS

“The world is beautiful, and I want to see it through art. I want to express my views through art. Art is my life,” says Ranjan Saikia, an artist who always had the desire to do something different, and so he did. His aim to stand out in the realm of art made him work constantly on something which is unusual as well as unique. Ranjan’s carvings on chalks pencils are the wonderful pieces of art that he has created. The detailed intricacies of his work signify the perseverance of a true artist. One would wonder how the idea of carving in chalk pencils had strike his mind. When asked, Ranjan unfolded the story of his inclination towards this unusual form of art.

Born to late Jonaram Saikia and Runu Saikia in Dhekiajuli, a small town in Assam, Ranjan had a penchant towards art since his childhood. His artistic pursuit began since seventh standard when he started his formal training in art in Sankar Madhav Charukala Vidyalaya. Later, he received diploma in arts from Ranit Kala Academy of Tezpur. After completing Higher Secondary, he worked as an art teacher in a private English medium school for six years. During that period, he attempted to carve shapes of flowers, fishes and human faces in chalk. With the encouragement of his family and friends, Ranjan pursued the art and in carrying out with his effort, he could replicate the face of Hanuman in a chalk pencil to near perfection, which became the turning point of his artistic endeavour. At present, he has about fifty numbers of such pieces of chalk sculpture to his credit and his art is gradually gaining recognition.

Ranjan’s works are displayed in various exhibitions. In one such occasion, the veteran artist of Assam Nani Borpujari happened to see his work in an exhibition organised last year in Jyoti Bharati in Tezpur. He highly appreciated Ranjan’s effort and encouraged him to keep up with his work and wished him a bright future. Such token of appreciation inspires Ranjan to do something more with his skill. He presented fifteen chalk sculptures of A.P.J Abdul Kalam in a function organised by the Senior Citizens’ Association of Dhekiajuli to pay homage to the greatest scientist and former President of India. Moreover, it is with the support of a few of his friends that Ranjan also demonstrated his talent by making sand art in the Bharmaputra beach in Sitalmari, situated at the south of Dhekiajuli. His sand art included the traditional Assamese dhol, pepa and japi along with the visages of Kalaguru Bishnu Rabha and A.P.J Abdul Kalam Azad as a tribute to these two remarkable personalities.

A small town boy, the young artist Ranjan is an inspiration to all those who aspire to do something significant in life and create a unique identity for themselves. In fact, he is an epitome of the youth of Assam who is utilising his skill and time in something creative and worthwhile, in an age when most youngsters are spending the valuable period of their life in activities which lead them nowhere.

A teacher by profession, Ranjan devotes the rest of his time in enhancing his creativity as he thinks he has a long way to go. An artist of such calibre needs opportunity to carry on with his effort, so that his art is recognised far and wide. He is undoubtedly an artist with extraordinary ability and prospect, and can surely do wonders with proper exposure and scope.

Anindita Das

Anindita Das

Born and brought up in Assam's Guwahati city, Anindita Das did her masters from Tezpur University and M.Phil from Gauhati University in English. She had previously worked as a lecturer in a college and is at present working as the Project fellow in the Department of English, Gauhati University. She is Senior Correspondent, The Thumb Print.