Digbijayee Khatua, painting canvas with cityscapes
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Digbijayee Khatua, painting canvas with cityscapes

Khatua's artistic journey traces back to his homeland, Kendrapara, Odhisha

Digbijayee Khatua, painting canvas with cityscapes

With his roots in Odisha, also known as the land of god, comes an emerging artist, Digbijayee Khatua, who now lives in Kaladham society, Greater Noida. Fascinated by the landscapes of cities, he draws his own interpretation of them on his canvas. For him, cities are his subjects.

Khatua's artistic journey traces back to his homeland, Kendrapara, Odhisha. The cultural and historical richness of the place allowed him to explore and give shape to the artist in him. The prominence of Hindu deities such as Ganesha and Swami Jagganath in his homeland fascinated young Khatua and became the subjects of his initial portraits. The laid-back calmness in his homeland offered a wide broad spectrum to Khatua to explore.

When young, Digbijayee was so fond of drawing, that he'd insist on making the front page for the assignments of his classmates. Being a child of an Oriya History lecturer Duryodhan Khatua and Anganwadi supervisor, Jagatmohini Khatua, Digbijayee got all the support from his parents to pursue his passion for art. He joined Sunday Art School in his village in class 12 and went on to earn a  Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts in 2012 from B. K. College of Art and Crafts, Bhubaneswar, Odhisha.

Later, he moved to Delhi to obtain a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the College of Art, Delhi University. This shift from his homeland to the capital city of India became the catalyst for his growth as an artist. With a shift from a rural easy-going household to an urban setting where everyone is always in a rush, a lot changed around Digbijayee. It was not just the shift of landscapes, but of cultures as well. From leaving his home to entering a whole different world, the artist’s mundane realities changed enormously and to this, he credits most of his conceptual development and modified techniques. Cityscapes and elements of urbanity are eminent in his works.

He expresses with watercolors in a layered dialogue to accentuate existential depths within the city. Interestingly, his works do not lose aesthetic value in the otherwise grim realities, thereby retaining a subtle yet striking visual allegory.

For Khatua, being an artist is a self-taken choice that comes with many consequences. For him, in Orissa, the art was more 'easy to comprehend, as he puts it. However, the lack of opportunities is what made him sad. Khatua moved out in search of better opportunities, in the hope to find a way to help other emerging artists.

While talking about the inspiration for his art, Khatua says, "I am not inspired by an individual. Art is a journey and we can find the art in everything, while traveling or when reading a story, or listening to a song. People come and go, but it's the art that remains unburied through the decades."

Khatua further mentions that when he moved to Delhi in 2012, he used to visit and explore artistic spaces such as studios and art galleries to find inspiration for his art and a connection to the new place. Since then, Khatua's work has been displayed in several exhibitions and galleries and he has many accolades to his credit.

Recently, Khatua was also awarded by the Vice President of India at the 62nd National Award by Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi, 2022. He also bagged the Gold medal from Prafulla art foundation, Mumbai, in 2018.

All pictures credit: CitySpidey

He now creates art in his residence in Kala Dham Society, Greater Noida, an abode to many artists. He is professionally working as an artist with an Anant art gallery, New Delhi.