Tapas Sen

Born in 1924 in Dhubri, Assam, Shri Tapas Sen has long been acknowledged as India’s foremost lighting designer. He represents a generation of stage artists in India who found their vocation through their work with the Indian People’s Theatre Association in the 1940s, and grew as new channels for their creativity opened up in independent India. Shri Tapas Sen has remained centred on the stage in his long career, but has also lent his talents to the cinema, sound-and-light shows, and the lighting of urban landmarks. A shadow play on the Bengal famine of 1943, which he produced with Shri Mrinal Sen, SANGEET NATAK AKADEMI FELLOWS 28 marked the beginnings of Shri Tapas Sen’s work on the stage. He has worked with every notable director in Bengal since the 1940s, introducing new methods and ideas in a department of theatre that had seen little innovation in the modern phase. Since the 1950s, Shri Tapas Sen has been called upon to advise on projects of national importance, and has conducted workshops on stage lighting all over the country. He is the only Indian lighting designer to be invited to an international colloquium on film, television, and theatre lighting at Bradford, U.K., organized by the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television. His paper in that colloquium, ‘Light, Mind, and Lighting’, has won wide appreciation. A film on his work by Asit Basu and Bhadra Basu, Let There be Light, has been screened in India and abroad. Shri Tapas Sen has been honoured for his work with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1974), the Kalidas Samman, the Dinabandhu Puraskar of the Government of West Bengal, and the Millennium Award of the Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi. He is a Fellow of the Association of Lighting Designers, U.K., and a Fellow of the Indian Society of Lighting Engineers. For his contribution to Indian theatre, Shri Tapas Sen is elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi.