Vol. 4 Num 351 Wed. May 26, 2004  

Light and shade
Nazrul on moving canvas
T-shirt exhibition captures the essence of the National Poet

Art is never confined to narrow boundaries. If the creation of beautiful or significant works is considered as art, why can't we consider T-shirts as a good canvas for it? Actually, it is a pity that in the present world the rational views have became so dominant over the aesthetic aspect that we are losing interesting ways of capturing our surroundings.

Nitya Upohar, an offbeat shop that promotes true Bangali culture, has broken new ground by capturing the rare moods of the Rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam on T-shirts. The aim is to mark the 105th birth anniversary of the legend. Previously it also arranged a similar exhibition on Tagore.

The 10-day exhibition was inaugurated on May 24, by poet-researcher-critic and the executive director of Nazrul Institute Abdul Mannan Syed and eminent Nazrul singer Sadya Afreen Mallick. The venue was the showroom at Aziz Super Market.

The exhibition consisted of eight designs by five acclaimed graphic designers Dhrubo Esh, Anisuzzaman Sohel, Sabyasachi Hazra, Najib Tareque and Kanak Aditya. The T-shirts portray some popular verse excerpts from the poems of Nazrul. The portraits also depict the various stages of the poet's life. The five young people have earned their credentials as graphic designers. Having a background in fine arts, however, these five designers are also related to different news media. 'Nitya Upohar has given us the space and platform to express our creativity,' said the designers. The proprietor of Nitya Upohar and the organiser of the show Bahar Rahman said, 'Far from being commercial, Nitya Upohar promotes our culture as well as the upcoming artistes.'

'The exhibition is an extraordinary way to express the national poet's philosophy and it would attract the next generation to learn about his works,' said Sadya Afreen Mallick.

'It's truly a modern way of cultivating the ideology of Nazrul and it opens a platform for the upcoming artistes too', said Abdul Manna Syed in his speech.

Dhrubo Esh designed the T-shirts titled Chiro Notun, Bhor holo dor kholo and Ami hobo shokal belar pakhi. Chiro Notun depicts Nazrul's contemplative motif coloured in black and ochre on a white background, while the popular verses, Bhor holo dor kholo and Ami hobo shokal belar pakhi are the pieces for children in bright colours.

Tomader paney chahiya bandhu, aar ami jagibona-- this verse is inscribed on a bright maroon T-shirt with a portrait of a young Nazrul on it, designed by Sohel. Another piece is titled Biraat Shishu, depicting the portrait of Nazrul in his later days.

In the apparel titled Bisher banshi by Sabyasachi Hazra, one can relish the rare moments of Nazrul playing the flute. Najib Tareque's Moromi is also unique in designs and styles. Especially written in cream on black background, the work Apnar cheye apon je jon is an elegant piece by Kanak Aditya.

Using bright colors and motifs and the verses of Nazrul's famous poems on T-shirts will definitely help our younger generation to know more about the poet. These works of art will reiterate the essence of their roots.

Models wearing specially designed T-shirts on Nazrul