Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |   Volume 6, Issue 19, Tuesday, May 10, 2011




Under the neem trees

Five young promising artists, who had done their Masters in 1991, held a group show at Shilpangan recently. Monirul Islam, the master painter from Spain, was among the chief invitees. Mohhammad Zahir, the superb landscape artists and one of the three young directors of Chitrak, added to the fanfare and bonhomie.

Anukul Mujumder, the artist who organises the programmes, was seen flitting about breathlessly, with eager anticipation. Smartly turned out waiters were dashing about the guests, with plates of goodies -- slices of plain cake and sweet, nutty biscuits -- under Shilpangan's shady emerald leafed trees, and the overhead thatched straw roof.

Ranging from symbolic to impressionistic, the artists' works managed to arrest the attention of the flow of keen viewers. Men and women, young and old thronged the gallery much before the opening -- with its heat spell and fitful showers.

Sporting long locks and moustaches, wearing cocktail party ensembles, the artists looked radiant with self-satisfaction. With jokes, laughs and banter, the ambiance was that of happiness and success.

Zahid, Shamim, Sohel, Urmi and Nini, with their show, “Present, Perfect, Continuous”, spoke with 'The Daily Star' of their beginnings, hopes and aspirations. Some of the works had been sold before the opening. All the five artists had their own studios at home, not far from the gallery, at Road 3, Dhanmondi.

One on them, Nini, who had her degree from Shantiniketan, even had her own printing machine from 'Charupeet'. Full of imagination and inspiration, the painters filled the gallery walls with rhythmic colours and paints which sang out with joie de vivre. The paintings of Zahid, Shamim, Sohel and Urmi bore subtle, graded colours, while Nini's was a print plus painting in bold and stark black and white.

The question of man's future existence, and the preservation of our environment remains the preoccupation of the artists -- as with all present day painters. This is so also with Nini and her husband.

In one way or another they play with lines, forms and textures to bring out the urgent need of peace and progress. Our young artists speak out against the modern, confused sense of values. The painter holds the mirror to what is happening around us, in our society. Their focus is the whole world.

Artists today don't paint for just art's sake. There is careful deliberation behind each line and point, as well as every hint of colour. Nature is always maintained as an important element in their themes and focal points. Some artists think, pause and carry on their painting ad lib. Others paint fitfully and ponder on the lines and colours like Zahid and Shamim.

Bright-eyed Shantwana Shaharin (Nini) depicted bats, birds, humans and trees in a careful balance. They set off a careful print, with a flying, outspread bat complete with wings and rat-body surrounded by a maze of semi-circles and puffed clouds.

The thick, hand-made paper on which the print “Resemblance of Originality” sits, by itself is something to behold as art material. The unique presentation is done with intricate care for rhythm and harmony.

Shamim says that as an experimental artist, he wants to present something new, something fresh in the lines that are dominant in his acrylic on paper work. He rubs off and creates again aiming at perfection. He creates his backgrounds, with layers of colours, ranging from white to brown and black.

The lines in black and maroon have been placed, along with the painter's feelings and thoughts. The lines present images such as a walking man or a hanging chair. But the forms are done from his subconscious mind. They unfold his earlier experiences. His sense of balance is admirable. He does not worry about balance of composition and his lines and colours are random. The final impact is soothing. His paintings carry titles like “Subconscious Image”.

Sohel, in his oil on canvas “Branded Apple” and “Branded Queen” deals with the manner in which man plays about nature, ruining its pristine state, as in the artificial preservation of nature. Progress of civilisation and industrialisation ruins the balance and harmony of nature around us. The artist feels that in our race to get ahead we're becoming artificial and inhuman. The ugly cockroach included in one end of the canvases, shows man-made and natural destructions around us.

By Fayza Haq


Endless lobster is back @ Prego

For all of Dhaka's lobster lovers, the Westin Dhaka has arranged a special treat that started on May 7 and will continue till the end of the month. Over that time, the city's foodies will have the opportunity to nourish the soul with the rich colours, flavours, aromas, and true taste of lobster in a relaxed ambience at Prego, the five-star hotel's Italian restaurant. The fine-dining restaurant features a fully open 'Show' kitchen where you can view the Maestro as he passionately conjures dishes from only the freshest of ingredients.

Look out on the busy city streets from the 23rd floor and enjoy the feeling of being completely relaxed in the company of live jazz music and the delights of lobster on your plate.

Do remember to ask for recommendations or just order from the specials if you want to make the most of your dining experience. For more information, please call 880.2.989.1988


Cowboys and engines

It is always easy to fall asleep while going from one place to another these days, despite the incessant honking which becomes a kind of sedating drone after a point and one's head becomes too heavy with inhaling of bushels of dust and fume so that it keeps flopping on to one's chest like a wilted flower.

It is after all, the same route you must take, the same amount of ugliness you will see -- billboards, bickering vehicle drivers, buses from where someone is always throwing up their hearty breakfasts and so on. But sometimes out of nowhere one may find oneself wide awake at the sheer absurdity of the scene that has just passed by.

It resembled a scene from a worn out western remake, of a Dhaliwood film where magical realism has been taken to extremes. The horses were real that's true, but were they really horses or donkeys?

Hard to say judging from their emaciated bodies and look of utter boredom at the prospect of walking (since trotting was out of the question) through a traffic jam in the middle of a rather dusty, warm day.

It was a horse carriage with a huge advertisement for a restaurant that promised to provide the best steaks in town. Obviously the skinny, malnourished young fellows in their bedraggled attire, complete with a dust-covered, cowboy hat and pointy boots, were not getting any of the bovine delicacies.

They wearily wielded their whips on the poor beasts who hardly needed any persuasion to move, they were dying to get out of this wretched road anyway, where everything seemed to go at amoebic pace.

As for background music to accompany this strange caravan from 'the wild, wild west', two musicians playing a trumpet and drums created the right kind of cacophony to drown out all the blaring horns and peddlers on loudspeakers.

But one had to admit that this bizarre scene was enough to wake up even the most ardent somnambulist. After all how many times do you see a horse-carriage ridden by deshi cowboys?

By Aasha Mehreen Amin


Country Boy's new outlet

Recently the third showroom of fashion house Country Boy was inaugurated at Ayesha Shopping Complex, Malibagh. Professor Saguftha Yeasmin Emily, MP inaugurated the showroom. Chairman of Country Boy Md Shahidul Islam Khan and some celebrated personalities of the locality were also present in the inauguration ceremony.

This new showroom has new and attractive products on display with a view to fulfilling the demands of the customers. Colourful shirts, t-shirts, pants, blazers, panjabis, suits, ties and all kinds of clothes for men of all ages are available in this store.

Contact: 01914811785

Bay Emporium at Bogra

The advisor of Bay Group Md Harun ur Rashid and Vice President of Dhaka Bank Ltd., Bogura Branch Md Abu Sinha inaugurated the new outlet of Bay Emporium at Jaleshory Tala, a central locality of Bogura on April 25.

The other officials of Bay Emporium and renowned personalities of the locality were also present in the ceremony.

This new branch at Bogura has on display new designs of shoes and sandals for men, women and children.

Contact: 2352 Shahid Abdul Jabbar Sarak, Jaleshory Tala, Bogura



With a view towards showing gratitude to all its loyal clients, Arisa Beauty Care and Boutique has special offers throughout the month of May as part of its anniversary celebrations.

Clients can avail a discount from 10 to 50 percent on services such as fruit facial, spa facial and pearl facial.

An offer of "10 minutes face clean" is free of charge only on 15 May, 2011 between 10 am to 4 pm. Women can also undergo hair re-bonding at a subsidised cost of Tk5000.

Eye brow and upper lip threading comes free with purchase of clothes worth between Tk1100 to Tk1200 at Arisa Boutique, the sister concern of the salon. And "10 minutes face clean" free with purchase of clothes from Tk1500 up to Tk3000.

For details, contact -- House #66/A, Road #8/A, Dhanmondi R/A, Dhaka - 1209. #01672735556. arisaboutique@yahoo.com, arisabd.com

New outlet of Jennys

A new Jennys shoe store has been inaugurated on 2 May at New Elephant Road. Nasir Khan, Chairman Jennys Group, M A Quader, Managing Director, Jennys International Ltd and Nazma Khan, Director formally inaugurated the shop in presence of other officials of the company and customers. Jennys has brought attractive new designs of shoes and sandals for men, women and children according to the taste of the customers. The customers will be able to buy shoes of their choice from this shop at affordable prices. Keeping with the occasion Jennys has offered a 10 percent discount on all products for 15 days.

For details, contact #8824885.


As The Daily Star has moved to its new premises, we request all our event invitations, press releases and other forms of correspondence be sent to Raffat Binte Rashid, Editor, Star Lifestyle (7th Floor), 64-65 Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, Dhaka 1215. Email: lifestyleds@yahoo.com or raffat@thedailystar.net


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2011 The Daily Star