Umakant Tawada, an Indian contemporary artist, is well known in the country’s art circles for his figurative paintings, especially of Lord Buddha.

Born and bred in Maharashtra, Umakant Tawada completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Arts (Mumbai) in 2002. Currently living in Mumbai, his paintings have been showcased all over India for solo shows as well as art festivals. t

He has been a part of important art exhibitions such as India Art Festival in Mumbai (2012), United Art Fair in Delhi (2012) and Layers of Celebration of Indian art, New York (2008) among many others. He has also been a part of art shows in Dubai and Singapore.

Tawada regularly participates in public and private exhibitions all over the world.


Living in the chaotic metropolitan jungle that is Mumbai, Umakant Tawada seeks solace and tranquillity through his art. His paintings are hyper-realistic and have a central theme of blending tradition with modernity, harmony with dissimilarities. Oil on canvas, contemporary subjects and graphic design all mix to create his singular vision.

A proponent of Figurative art, his paintings frequently feature Buddhist symbolism and living. Umakant was immensely inspired by a visit to a trip to the Tibetan town of Byalakuppe in Karnataka. Monks, prayer flags, the lotus and of course the Buddha are recurring images in his works. The colour palette is filled with rich browns or greys juxtaposed with vibrant reds and yellows of the monk’s robes.

His exhibition ‘Stillness Speaks’ that was showcased in Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai is the most prominent example of his Buddhistic inspiration. According to Umakant, the core theme of his art revolves around “the meditative benevolence of Gautama Buddha”. He has captured the peaceful essence of Buddhist spirituality in his works. You can feel the emphasis on mindfulness and calm emanating from his paintings.

Another series features the urban life of Mumbai with all its busyness, diversity and class differences. The city of dreams with its colourful culture and art is the inspiration behind the paintings. The struggle of the poor is laid bare on the canvas in this series. We can feel the hunger and exhaustion of their daily life through Umakant’s work. But far from a defeat, the paintings present the struggles with a backbone of optimism. The human determination to survive presents itself vividly through the images. The portrait of the acrobat balancing herself on a rope display the passion for life. The people keep on living in spite of chaos and complexity.

Umakant Tawada has also worked on a series featuring Mahatma Gandhi, called ‘Manifesto Peace’. A personal dream of the artist, Umakant has finally represented the icon of peace on canvas. The paintings run on the theme of unity and patriotism. The hues of pink and khaki are used to trace the transition of Gandhi from a young barrister to the freedom fighter revered by millions. A black background symbolising the oneness of the patriots is mixed with green and red for Gandhi’s of all religions.


Umakant Tawada is an artist marking his place in the contemporary art scene of India. Be sure to check out his paintings during art exhibitions in your city.