Tagore in Shorthand by Artist Indrajit Nattoji

Kolkata, 19 May Saturday: Artist Indrajit Nattoji presented a unique collection of paintings, “Tagore in Shorthand” at ICCR that delves into Kobi Guru’s literary works through handwriting his poems and songs in his image, using ink and paint on paper. Each art-work showcases one of Tagore’s literary works written in his image. Portraits range from Tagore as a young man to his later years – an artist’s tribute to Rabindranath Tagore in hand written drawing style. Director and actor Parambrata Chattopadhyay was present at the event with Bickram Ghosh, Wassim Kapoor, Baishali Dalmiya among others on day one.

Talking about his inspiration, Nattoji said, “I have been drawing and painting from the time I recall my earliest childhood memories. It was a natural instinct, as basic as eating and breathing. I always wanted to be an artist since the time I used to travel with my parents during my summer holidays.  When I was studying at the National Institute of Design, long before the digital renaissance, we used to take notes, write scripts, stories and with pen, pencil and paper. Computers were a distant concept at that time and nor were we allowed near one. Recently, I started using handwritten words and sentences to create forms while drawing over words when I made mistakes. As I was drawing while writing, the lines took on a life of their own. I started writing while creating an image and I created images while writing. I then added some paint and colour. Shorthand art anyone?”


A student of NID, Ahmedabad, Nattoji has wonthe Singapore Promax BDA Asia Awards, Razorfish Rocket Award for Rising Talent and Best Station ID. He has worked in Channel [v] Mumbai as Senior Producer, later becoming an ad-filmmaker kick-starting his own company called Blink Pictures. Currently, he is writing his next feature film, while conceptualizing, directing and producing three film installations for India’s first Museum on Indian Music in Bangalore and continuing to make Ad-Films. He loves travelling the world with his family.

When asked why he chose Tagore, the artist said, “The Bengali ‘force’ in me has always been strong. I have been brought up with the mandatory staple of Tagore songs, poems and stories. Recently I was in the middle of an animation project where I had taken on a part of the animation where one had to do hands-on drawings digitally. My mother had organized a small function and get together for Robindro Jayanti and had asked me to draw a portrait of Tagore and add a quote from his works. I was already drawing frames for my animation with my newly acquired Ipad and Apple pencil. I quickly combined the words ‘Pochishe Boishak’ into an image of Tagore. It was spontaneous and intuitive. It turned out quite interesting and was much appreciated by everyone. That’s how this project took birth.”

What are the plans with this journey of painting? “I hope to take this further with interpretations of more of his works in handwritten drawing style with larger formats of drawing, painting, screen prints, woodcuts, digital art and large-scale animation and film installations,” Nattoji signed off.

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