What are your hobbies?
My hobbies are painting, reading books, innovating things, listening to music and quizzing.
What inspires you?
My style has been inspired by nature; I get attracted to green plants, bright flowers, landscapes, gardens, animals and people.
According to you, what is the potential of art?
I believe that art has considerable potential in peace-building, not only in the conflict resolution field, but also in post-conflict reconciliation. It can defy all linguistic boundaries. It is considered a universal language and therefore an ideal resource to understand the perspectives of others, particularly their perspective on a given conflict. Art can also directly nurture a peace process by providing a voice to marginalised or oppressed groups.
Tell us about some of your favourite paintings and artists.
Some of my favourite paintings and artists are ‘The Last Supper’ by Leonardo da Vinci, ‘Starry Night’ by Vincent Van Gogh and ‘The Galaxy of Musicians’ by Raja Ravi Varma.
Do you believe art needs to be accessible to children?
Yes, for sure. I have organised free workshops and sessions for many children and students to ensure their access to art education. By making such opportunities available to children, I help attain the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals, to make quality education accessible to all. Sharing knowledge is the most fundamental act of friendship—it is a way for one to give something without losing anything.
Tell us about some of the awards you have received.
In 2021, I received the Pradhanmantri Rashtriya Bal Shakti Puraskar. I represented India and won a gold medal at an international art competition held in France. I won a silver medal in the World Competition for Children’s Drawings that was held in Bulgaria and I am the first Indian international winner in the International Color for Hope Art Competition 2020, which was held in Birmingham, UK. I have also won the Golden Artist award by the Picasso Art Foundation and the Creative Champ award by the Rangu Art Foundation.
I recently received the US President’s Education Award for my work. Apart from that, I have also received the prestigious Diproinduca Art Prize from Diproinduca Foundation Ltd, Canada. I have won awards at art competitions in Nepal, Japan, USA, South Korea and UK. I have also won the International Ambassador of Peace title, which was granted by the World Literary Forum for Peace and Human Rights.
Are you helping society in any other way?
As an aspiring social activist, I’ve started fundraisers and organised food and cleanliness drives in my locality. From time to time, I donate to various charitable organisations from the monetary awards I receive from the competitions I win. Also, as a motivational speaker, in my talks, I focus on how art can influence society and the youth. Art, social change and young people have always walked hand-in-hand. Engaging youth in the arts can promote positive, powerful social change.
Do you have a message for our young readers?
I started painting when I was 18 months old. There were many times when I failed, but I never gave up. At the end of the day, I realised that you are your own competitor. With this, I learned that failure plays a crucial role in success. Do not limit yourself by thinking about what others will say. We have only one life; we should enjoy it to the fullest. Also, one should remember that success doesn’t lie in the results but in the efforts and that it is neither final nor permanent. One has to keep moving and pushing the limits against all the odds and setbacks to be a better version of oneself.
Tanuj Samaddar hails from Kamrup in Assam. He is known for his work with colour pencils, oil paints and watercolours; but he also works with charcoal and acrylic. Tanuj’s work has been displayed at the Luxembourg Art Palace in France, JQA Art Gallery in Japan, Colorado Springs National Art Gallery, USA, National State Art Gallery, Bulgaria and many more prestigious venues. His work has also been included in a book called ‘Art & Poetry Collection’ that was published by Sci2Foundation (USA). He has been given the title of Global Peace Ambassador by IQRA Foundation (India). His social work has also been commended by the International Diplomatic Organization for Development and Peace, Belgium. He was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize 2022.
ACTIVITY: Art From the Heart
Use a traditional Indian art technique to create a painting on any one of the following subjects: green plants, bright flowers, animals or people. Upload your creation on www.robinage.com/submit-posts