Assam's 'butterfly' to 'pass' by the Beijing Olympics

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Guwahati, Jun 29 (UNI) A 'butterfly' will 'pass' by the Beijing Olympics stamping North East India's Assam's presence in this mega sporting event.

State-based artist Utpal Barua has earned the rare distinction of having his painting selected for the Olympic Fine Arts, 2008 (OFA'08), beating thousands of renowned and lesser-known artists from 80 countries to figure in the 300 final list.

A parallel event run under the Olympic organizing committee, OFA'08 is a mega event in the field of art, with the 300 selected paintings to be housed at the Olympic Fine Arts Museum at the Tai Miao Temple in Beijing after touring the world for the next two years.

An associate professor in the department of Design in Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Mr Barua said, ''It is a great privilege to be selected for the event, especially when artists from North East have such limited exposure in the national scene itself.

But not one to curse lack of opportunity as the reason for one's failure, Mr Barua added that individual effort had taken him so far and he hoped to scale greater heights with this positive attitude and great expectations.

After all, expectations formed the theme of his painting title 'A butterfly was passing by' that earned him the place at the OFA'08.

Explaining his choice of the theme 'The spirit of China and the Olympics Game', Mr Barua said, ''The butterfly stands for expectations and openness, the spirit of the Games and the host country. He has been invited to the opening ceremony of the Olympics, which begins in August, and would be presented with a gold medal, certificate and a replica of the Olympic torch.

An alumnus of Santiniketan, Mr Barua has over 30 international exhibitions across the world to his credit, besides numerous in the country. He also has national-level awards in his kitty, besides the prestigious senior fellowship by the Human Resource Development ministry and having his exhibits in the National Academy of Art in New Delhi.

His paintings, which have found good patronage, are bought by art collectors through agents in the metros, though the artist prefers to keep a low profile and is a little-known name in the art circuit in his home state.

UNI SG PL/src1315

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