Updated: June 8, 2018 4:19:11 pm
Kolkata-based artist Subimal Das has almost finished making a statue of Stephen Hawking, the acclaimed British theoretical physicist who died earlier this year. The offer to make the statue came Das’ way a few months ago from a city museum and he began work on it around a month and a half ago.
Since Das sourced most of the materials from the United States, the cost of the statue has run up to over Rs 2.5 lakh. He has used fibre glass, silicon, marble eye, artificial hair and glass. The cloth has been tailored to perfection and the USP of the statue is Hawking’s trademark wheelchair. Das says that without the help of his team of workers, the statue wouldn’t have been possible.
Das was born in 1976 at Nachinda village in Midnapore, West Bengal. He joined the Indian College of Arts and Draftsmanship in 1995 and completed his graduation in Visual Arts in 2000 from Rabindra Bharati University. After his graduation, Das started working in the National Council of Science Museum (NCSM), Kolkata, the largest network of science centres in the world. However, he did not like his work, and later got a job as a contractor.
In 2012, he got an opportunity to make a silicon statue — something he took up whole-heartedly. Das says, “In those days, we did not have access to the internet. I come from a middle-class family. Then I read about someone called John Wood (Chairman and CEO of Sally Corporation). But John Wood was not willing to teach us, Indians, the art of silicon sculpting. However, I took it as a challenge and started working with silicon materials.
A determined Das promised himself that he will give it his best shot. “We did not get any facilities or any proper measurements of the subject, yet we persevered and made it happen. It takes me about a month and a half to finish one statue.”
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