Mahapatrart's Handmade handicrafts
The present work, one of his master pieces, is in relief on a single plague of wood. It has taken a long period of 2 years and 7 months for completion. With artistic grace, delicacy and beauty, the figures successfully present different stages of Bhagavan Buddha’s life on wood. The serene look of the picture of the Buddha and the facts about his life fascinated Ashok Kumar while still at school. Seeing the stone images of the Buddha carved out by his father at home he conceived the notion of doing the same in wood some day. But he was too young to realize his dream then, Moreover, models to imitate were very few or none. Many great craftsmen were bringing out the life stories of several Gods and Goddesses of the Sri Krishna, Mahalaxmi, Saraswati & Sri Ganesh etc in an admirable way.
Ashok kumar Mahapatra hails from a family of artists of Pathuria Sahi, Puri Orissa. His grand father late Shri Giridhari Mahapatra (Indian Society of Oriental Arts, Kolkata) and elder uncle late Shri Sridhar Mahapatra (Govt. college of ARTS crafts, Lucknow UP) were artists of high repute. His father Sri Madan Mohan Mahapatra is also a well known artist and recipient of so many awards. The Mahapatra’s are natives of the historic town of Puri and have earned considerable name and fame for superb excellence in stone carving, statue making and temple building. Their forefathers were among the builders of the world famous temple of LORD JAGANNATH at PURI. From Time immemorial they have been residing at PURI and as such are the most ancient dwellers of Jagannath-Dham. From his childhood, Shri Ashok kumar Mahapatra developed an aptitude for the art tradition of his family. Under the guidance of his father, he has attained excellence in the art of stone and wood carving. He has carved in wood different stages of Bhagwan Buddha’s life and won the state award in 1997. He has been attending the trade fairs and handicraft exhibitions organized by government of India in different states displaying his skill as a promising artist.
Shri Ashok Kumar Mahapatra
But Buddha was ignored for reasons quite unknown. Sri Mahapatra took a vow to break new ground in the field. The wonderful piece of work mentioned above is the culmination of his sincere effort, unswerving determination and single minded devotion to the art. It bears an undying testimony to the superb craftsmanship and consummate artistry he has been able to master over a period of twenty years. Important milestones in the life of the great soul have very skillfully been made to stand out in sharp relief against a single piece of wood. Ashok Kumar considers all this is the result of the boundless benediction of Sri Jagannath who caused him to be in an ancient family distinguished for its association with the building of his great temple in the dim dawn of history.