Written by Lalu Prasad   
Friday, 10 April 2009 18:59



Ladies and Gentlemen,

My brother gave me the note on your website.
I can imagine that you are interested in the art strike my father did with 3 other painters on Neil Island, Andamans India, 1951. My Father Gan Mei Mondal studied miniature paintings at the Academy of Fine Arts in Calcutta from 1933-38. In 1939 he moved to Port Blair, Andaman Islands. It was Charles Francis Waterfall who hired him as a portrait painter. He moved to Ross Island, Andamans, the Paris of the East. 11 years he was forced to paint officers and their women. On 1st February 1951, he started an art strike for 3 weeks with 3 other painters on Neil Island.


He died at the age of 39 in Calcutta 1952.




Lalu Prasad

Calcutta, 8th April 2009 






Postcard from my father to me:


My lovely Lalu,

Since 1st February Sujay, Sudhamoy, Edward and I did not work anymore on pictures.
We are still in an art strike on Neil Island until 22nd February.
Mr Ray from Studio Diamond took a few photos of us at the beach. Sujay, Sudhamoy and Edward are wearing masks of Hanuman, Shuk and Shari.
Ajoy Kumar Ghosh tried to convince us that the strike is completely meaningless and without effect. But he also knows that Charles Francis Waterfall, Bucho, Teizo Hara and Patterson made our lives hell.
We refuse to continue to paint the officers and their wifes: we want to be free and self-determined. The only way for us is to make real art.

You will surely understand me.
After the art strike, I will come to Calcutta. Do you have time to see me?


Your always loving father Gan


(Neil Island, 15th February 1951)