The East always kept silence as the last and the final non-linguistic gesture to deny the indispensability of language in expressing human emotions. As if language were never limited to mere practicality, when it became independent from fossilized day to day meaning it regained its true purpose; to express the eternal and unchanging. In the work of Shampa Sircar Das one can identify a similar constant struggle to bring meaning with eternal dimensions. Like the Delphic maxim “know thyself” Shampa also believes that artistic creativity is nothing but a long and arduous journey to “know yourself”, which she explains as the major tenet of Buddhist and Advaita philosophy of India. Coming from a non-artistic environment Shampa derived creative inspiration from the verbal imagery of Bengali folk tales and Indian epics. She was encouraged to take music lessons in childhood which she later abandoned but the lyrical touch of sound molded her nascent aesthetic sense and she drifted towards rhythms of light and depth which we all know by the name “color”. Joseph Conrad once said “Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealing with men”. This Conradian situation is a hard truth for women in Indian society; similarly Shampa also felt the limitations of being a woman in India. She was forced to pursue science education instead of art. But somehow by her sheer determination to reach her creative path she finally entered Delhi School of Art. But it was not an easy place to grow. The artistic world of becoming an artist was “fiercely competitive and manipulative” she said.
Regarding her primary inspiration of forms and color, Shampa accepts that holistic spiritual symbolism from Indian religion like Vedic Hinduism and Buddhism always flows in her consciousness. It is their ability to convey hidden meanings in apparent form. In her work this inspiration gradually transformed into semi-abstract background layers supporting her figurative symbols, which together constitute tales of transcendence and imminence. Shampa developed her worldview through extensive journeys into sacred spaces; into the Himalayan foothills of India. Here she imbibed the dynamics of tranquility of soul through the colorful vibrancy of Buddhist rituals and meditative painting traditions practiced and displayed in the Buddhist monasteries of Leh, Ladakh, Lahol and Sipti.
Shampa has displayed her work in national and international art shows and galleries. In the fall of 2015, her work was included in an auction alongside greats such as Husain, Raza, Roy and Souza. As an emerging artist Shampa’s work was described as “continuing to impress upon the viewers psyche with passion”. Shampa is being recognized as an important artistic voice depicting panoramic scenes of Indian myths and spiritualistic ideals. She lives and works in Dehli.