Pradeep Kumar

India, 1988

Pradeep Kumar was born in Haryana, India. Deaf and unable to speak, he was trapped behind a wall of silence and doctors were quick to diagnose him as mentally disabled. He went to a school with fully abled students but there were no special facilities for him so he sat at the back of the class carving blackboard chalk to fill his school day. One day, he found a matchstick and had the notion to try and carve it, soon realising his exceptional ability. Using just a razor blade he was able to carve intricate birds and figures in the most minute detail before adding colour. He now carves toothpicks as well as matchsticks. He has had many exhibitions and awards in India and is also in the collections of the Gaia Museum of Outsider Art (Denmark) and Dr Guislain Museum (Belgium); he has exhibited at the Boehaave Museum (Netherlands), the Harsad Museum (Norway) and Halle Saint Pierre (Paris, France).