Dina Nath Walli
Born in 1908 Dina Nath Wali also known as Almast Kashmiri was a renowned water color artist and poet from Kashmir. He played a great role in bringing up Modern Art movement in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Works of Dina Nath Wali are known for visual depiction of everyday scenes of Kashmir and it’s people.
Dina Nath Wali lived in Badyar Bala area of Srinagar. His father died at an early age. Dina Nath Wali had his early education in Srinagar, and after that he completed his three years course at Amar Singh Technical Institute Srinagar. In 1930 he moved to Calcutta for his further training. In Calcutta Dina Nath Walli learned various forms of art under the guidance of Percy Brown, who was Principal of the Government College of Art and Craft at the University of Calcutta.
Dina Nath Walli returned to Srinagar in 1936, and begin his experiments on landscape painting mainly in water color. His water color paintings are everyday scenes from the valley of Kashmir. He travelled to each and every corner of the State of Jammu and Kashmir and painted many masterpieces in water color. In his works one could feel the essence of beauty for which Kashmir is known for all over the globe.
For his immense contribution to art field and for the role that he played to bring up Modern Art movement in Kashmir He was awarded gold medals by the Government of Kashmir in 1939 and in 1940 he received a highly commended medal from the Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta.
He was very much aware of art movements of the west and also various forms of modern art surrealism, Cubism, expressionism, impressionism, Pop art and Abstract art. His paintings are good examples of impressionism, they are unique in their own way. He had also produced an album of 12 paintings.
Under his pen name of Almast Kashmiri, his “accent on realistic art or people’s poetry”, is best seen in his two collections of his poetry, Bala Yapair (This side of Mountains, 1955) and Sahaavukh Posh (Desert Flowers, 1981).
Apart from painting and poetry Dina Nath Walli was fond of music and was closely attached to musical instruments mainly Violin, Flute and Sitar. In 1980s after the marriage of his children he moved to Karnal along with his son. He died in Karnal in 2006.
Dina Nath Walli will be remembered for his contributions to refine the art practice and to develop art appreciation in Kashmir. His watercolor paintings have inspired many young artists and will continue to inspire generation’s of artists to come.
He did first one-man show at Nedou’s hotel, Srinagar 1953, followed by one man show at Jahangir Art Gallery, Bombay on 1954 and at AIFACS, New Delhi on December 1954 inaugurated by Percy Brown, late Sh. S.K Patil and K.M Panikkar respectively.
He did fourth one man show at NDA, Pune, 1955 and fifth one man show at Artistry House, Calcutta, 1956, opened by Dr. Kail Dass, followed by one man show again at AIFACS New Delhi. He did his seventh show at Rabindra Bhawan, Lalit kala Academy New Delhi.
His eight show was done at Kuwait, in 2004 and His ninth show was done at Kala Kendra, Jammu on March 2010.
Taj Hotel Bombay, Chandigarh Museum Chandigarh, Kashmir Govt. Museum Srinagar and Dhoommal Art Gallery New Delhi.