Jiten Hazarika

Jiten Hazarika

Jiten' Profile   |   Keshav Malik on Jiten   |   Artist¡¯s statement   |   Newspaper Articles
Jiten's Profile Jiten Hazarika
Jiten was born in Assam in 1936. His innate artistic talents were apparent in childhood. Jiten graduated in Civil Engineering in 1963 and was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers, Indian Army, in 1964. Attaining the rank of Colonel, he retired prematurely in 1990 to devote himself to painting.  Jiten has accumulated a deep and abiding knowledge of philosophy and Sanskrit literature and this is reflected in his painting, as are his boyhood memories of day to day life in rural Assam. His work has been the subject of academic research even at the doctoral level. Various universities have honored him and appointed him a ¡®Resource Person¡¯ for matters pertaining to art. He had held several exhibitions in India and abroad.

¡°I have possibilities, I know, but under which stone they lie buried I do not know,¡± said Albert Camus. But it appears Jiten was able to find the stone overlaying his particular possibilities even as a child. An unspoilt freshness and a moving simplicity are the hallmarks of his work.  Aristotle said: ¡°We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an art but a habit.¡± Jiten concurs wholeheartedly. He would find slipshod and mindless effort enervating, he feels, given his habitual diligence and attention to detail, attested to by the minutiae woven into the magnificent oriental rug that is his work.  His is a highly individualistic interpretation of our visual reality.  Jiten's paintings may be broadly categorized as Figurative Abstract. In Jiten¡¯s work, seemingly divergent Realism and Abstraction converge to a brilliant point. For Jiten, the subject matter of a painting is subsidiary since he believes in ¡®art for art¡¯s sake¡¯ and revels in the sheer joy of creation.  He is concerned mostly with eye-catching rhythms, vibrant color harmonies, and arresting spatial configurations: products of his fertile imagination. He is an intrepid artist essaying oils on canvas with assiduousness and intelligence. His works make for an anthology of blank verses in colour.
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Keshav Malik on Jiten Jiten Hazarika
What is an artist? To whom does he address himself? And what sort of speech is to be expected from him? Well, there is all kind of speech; in the case of the painter, Jiten Hazarika, one of tenderness, indeed the work is suffused with it. Perhaps the artist is a comprehensive soul, who knows the surrounding humanity by instinct, and cares for it. This, even when he paints musical themes, or the votive ones, or any others. He does not look down upon the anonymous souls that dot his pictorial space. That is, he does not observe from on high, but is right down on the ground in complete empathy. This same stance cannot have been pursued in so many works, had not the painter personally lived and breathed gentleness. It is thus he usually paints women figures; but then these are not of those neurotic kinds which are now to be met with in the sundry metros of our country. By the very force of circumstance, the day¡¯s urban humanity is innerly too disturbed or distraught to be benign. In other words, we must acknowledge the silent virtues of those still residing in the presumed ¡®backwaters¡¯ of India, and especially of women in the east of this vast country.

So Hazarika¡¯s work is rooted in his ancestral heritage, and in its lovely liturgies and ceremonials, those in which womankind plays so seminal a role. Such upbringing gives meaning to the painter¡¯s genre. As artist he observes and paints the subtle, if ephemeral, beauty of the human form, and as such the light of a sacramental vision seeps in his work in celebration and praise. This work is not designed to arouse the horrors of life but to see the beauty in human bondings.

The reflection of a key need, his lesson of life would seem to be manifest on otherwise average miens. Hazarika therefore tells us something of our own humanity. His artistry is a means to an end; to consecrate warmth; to plant the mother¡¯s heart amidst the suffering world, one in which much of our life is spent. Such is the landscape of the artist¡¯s soul. But this does not imply that Hazarika is sentimental. Oh no. he is cognizant of the latest new fangled art fashions, but yet he sticks within the strait and narrow of the authentic human condition. Thus his paintings have the definite impress of his own personality. The range of his colours is sober, and they express this particular chasteness which few artists achieve. In his works that quality is secure. The strokes of the artist¡¯s brush highlight good sense.

Formally, his figurations are not abstracted; they are harmonious arrangements which turn back on themselves. This method enables the compositions to exist unassumingly in their individual grids. At moments the artist¡¯s personae are no more than young girls, but at  others they may as well be devis or almost so. It may be that the painter wishes to recreate the early Mother Figures, those of worship and veneration. Is this not how satsang (communion) is the  tenor of his work as a whole?

The temperature of the work is thus relaxed, complimentary to the overall mood. Its formal qualities being enriched with a  psychological or human element. Since both the designing as  human features are fused in the work, it gains ampler meaning. So, in one sense Hazarika¡¯s art is essentially a humanist expression of faith, strongly tinged with filial values. Reverence and humility are palpable, as also a hesitance that betokens good breeding, and inner culture.

It is to the good that Hazarika has the skill and sureness of what he likes to really paint, as that he has the tact not to shout out aloud in garish colorations. His brush work is sure but not brash. There are also other qualities, which are purely of line. He depending on rhythm rather than structure alone. The artist is a modest-by- temperament painter, yet we do know that he invariably paints by feeling, and that he has no undue consciousness that the world is looking over his shoulder. He always paints to please himself, as also to explore the recesses of his own mind.

Hailing from Assam, the painter touches us gently. So this art in its very unpretentiousness, brings us back to our lost humanity.
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Artist¡¯s Statement Jiten Hazarika

No serious art can be created without the concern for real life. After all, art conveys the convincing expression of life. I am attempting to express the observed and experienced aspects of man¡¯s environment. While doing so I put my utmost effort to maintain balance between the form and the content to save my paintings from being brand named as either illustration or pattern. I always believe, the intangible quality of sincerity and sensibility of the artist with his time brewed technique can certainly enrich the work of art to make a meaningful contribution to add to our culture. The rightful integration of form, content and skill can create a genuine art. If any one factor obscures the other, the art is devoid of life. No artist sees things as they look. Guided by inner instinct he develops insight to even create a new appearance, which is different from the original source. A genuine work of art can transcend the mind to the space beyond the limits of physical confines and evoke the feeling of expansion and movement beyond edges.

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Newspaper Articles Jiten Hazarika
His work is a tribute to his mother
Publication: Hindustan Times Date: March 4, 2007
¡°Each of his paintings is a tribute to his mother; No wonder he starts each one by signing his mother¡¯s name. ¡°My mother

Simply Wonderful! Is how one sums up Jiten Hazarika¡¯s show at the SLKA
Publication: The Times of India Date: October 7, 2002
¡°No Great artist sees things as they look. If he does he ceases to be an artist¡±, quotes Jiten Hazarika from Oscar Wilde, true it is his different perspective into things
A splash of colours
Publication: The Times of India Date: November 8, 2005
Only a curator knows where the art lies! That¡¯s what was brought forth by art curator Mridula who got the works of
In defence of art
Publication: The Times of India Date: April 19, 2003
Even as a child he loved to play with colours. But being in a remote village in Assam in the 40s, he did not have access to an. But that did not deter him
Officer turns painter- A Colonel¡¯s coup on the canvas
Publication: Hindustan Times Date: February 6, 2004
The tag of a colonel gave him little chance of being taken seriously as an artist. So he decided to change things a bit
Strokes of genius
Publication: The Times of India Date: February 7, 1998
Some might deride its as escapism.  Yet others might nail it down as reticence.  And there are some who would describe it as the whim of an artist
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