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Surrey artist’s paintings help him heal after cousin’s COVID-caused death

Sanjoy Das’ works are featured at PoMoArts starting May 20
Sanjoy Das with art shown at PoMoArts, formerly Port Moody Arts Centre. (submitted photo)

Sanjoy Das’ latest exhibition is a visual ode to a COVID-19 tragedy.

The Surrey-based artist’s work will be shown at PoMoArts (formerly Port Moody Arts Centre) for a month starting May 20 and, for those who can’t see it in person, in a “digital gallery” exhibition.

Dubbed “Harnessing the Power of Colour for Wellbeing,” the art show is Das’ response to hearing news in 2020 that his cousin, an aspiring artist in his early 30s, had died from COVID-19. Grieving, Sanjoy turned to a study of the philosophy of Tantra art and the use of colour for healing and therapeutic purposes.

He spent months meditating and using the philosophy to create mixed-media works, vibrant in colour.

“My art work is a byproduct of meditation on this philosophy and sadhana (spiritual exercise),” the artist says. “The experience has greatly enhanced my well-being, and I wish to share it via my art and writing.”

Sanjoy says he’ll donate 30 per cent of his artwork sales to COVID relief in India, with transactions available in-person or by phone.

On Thursday, May 20, Das will talk about his work during a Facebook Live event, 7:15 p.m. start. “He is delighted that his mother will be able to watch the virtual opening reception and artist talk,” says an event advisory notes.

Born in Meghalaya, India, Das works as a professional artist, design instructor and intern architect, with examples on He first exhibited at PoMoArts in the 2019 group exhibition and cultural festival “Spirit of India,” and has also been featured at Surrey Art Gallery.

The current show at PoMoArts, in the Canadian Pacific Gallery, is part of Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society’s explorASIAN Festival 2021. The gallery is also showing the 2021 Kwi Am Choi Exhibition Scholarship recipients – Nicole Ponsart, a 2021 Emily Carr University of Art & Design (ECUAD) grad who works in ceramic art, and painter Gillian Haigh, a 2019 ECUAD graduate.

Meantime, Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF) is kicking of Asian Heritage Month with its open call for film submissions to premiere at the 25th festival later this year, making it Canada’s longest running Asian film festival.

“This open call is for both Canadian and International filmmakers to submit their creations, helping the next generation of Asian Canadian filmmakers produce and tell stories that are authentic, so that movies and shows like Minari and Kim’s Convenience will be the first of many like it,” a news release says.

Film festival entries will be accepted from from March 15 to June 5, and this year’s festival will take place over a period of 11 days, from Nov. 4-14, 2021. Visit for more details.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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