Born in a remote village in Assam in 1944, Badhan Das was an artist, teacher and social activist dedicated to the revival and preservation of the cultural traditions of the Santhal tribal communities and the perpetuation of the Bengali language. After working for several decades as a figurative painter and sculptor, Das became disenchanted with the idea of art as a tool for reformation, and turned to a contemplative, abstract idiom in the 1990s, the last phase of his career. His large, monochromatic canvases of this period have “remote moorings with topographical elements: flashes of evocation of rocks or tree barks provide a referential frame, however tenuous. An ambient moment of serenity and stillness is created in his abstract works; time and again I have watched how he creates a spatial distinction between the ‘here’ and ‘beyond’ – which can also be considered as a preoccupation with levels of time, in which case space becomes an objective correlative of time itself, and the stillness resonates with multiple choices of context.” (A Ghosh, ‘Confronting Cultures: The Dialectic of Abstraction in Bengal Art’, art etc. news & views website, November 2010, accessed January 2020)
After his death in 2002, a tribute exhibition, Journey Through Images, was held in his honor, and most recently, the retrospective Badhan Das was held at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, in 2016.