was a stroke of luck that a Bangladeshi and a Bhutanese met,
which later opened up an opportunity to act in convergence.
The Buddhist country is attracting adulatory eyes from its neighbours,
and a couple of Bangladeshi artists have added an artistic touch
to it. The show of four artists--one from Bhutan, another from
Belgium and another two from Bangladesh--has brought into salience
the idea of Buddhism through paintings and installations. Kama
Wangdi, the Butanese, Yanninck Jooris, the Belgian, and the
two other artists from Bangladesh, -- Deepa Islam and Jasim
Uddin Xecon make up the metaphysically-inclined contingent that
had a show at Alliance Francais, Dhaka.
had these levitated black spheres in the middle of the gallery
space, which created an ethereal atmosphere. Though his piece
used a paper chorthen, a structure that usually treasures relics
of Buddha or his birthplace, in the centre, looks more like
a work by a person born and brought up in the culture of Buddhism.
The positive aspect was that it had all the ingredients to excite
the retinal. In short it had tremendous visual impact.
Wangdi, the artist from Bhutan, who has been exposed to the
Bangladeshi audience for the first time, displayed a batch of
longish paintings. In his works, the symbol of horse figures
prominantly. "I tried to mesh the spiritual element with
that of the corporeal, I don't know whether I have succeeded
or not," says the artist. His horses are set against uncontained
wave, and tend to become part of the natural entity. He dramatised
few of his pieces by setting back-light that illuminates the
surface of the work in a particular area. He also gathered prayer-flags
and presented two collages made out of them to address the belief
that drives his people, a section that to these days remains
untouched by modernist material pursuit.
show titled Bhutan: An Act of Offering is full of elements used
in public prayer and meditations. The Bhutanese and the Belgian
even collaborated on an installation that used the prayer-wheels
as the element. "Bhutan is a land of wonder, it is an undisturbed
heaven of a traditional way of life. It's a pity that this peaceful
land is not being left alone, Western influence slowly permeating
their lifestyle," laments Jooris.
show of the quartet kicked off on January 4 and lasted till
the retina to imageries in painting, the journey, if undisturbed
by abstract ideas or subjective factors, results in a kind of
representation that Azad has tried. The works that were on display
at Chitrak, seemed to have been derived from landscape, yet
had a kind of vigour that comes from working spontaneously with
paint and brush. Colour and its application that results in
texture and contours that reminds one of natural beauty are
the two things that Azad's world is made up of. This time he
hovered between spontaneity and austerity, and the result was
a pictorial solution that sidesteps the Eoropian and American
abstraction of the last century. In fact, Azad's work goes down
to the basic, which is looking at nature and then trying to
interpret it. The brush and its effect, Azad did avoid in his
art. Though in his oil-on-canvas works, he failed to match this
success. "The signs or the gestures born out of wielding
of the brushes are absent in my work, and the formation of wash
and contour takes their place" says Azad, whose works brings
down natural elements into bare minimum. Azad's show titled
'Mind of Nature' ran from December 26 to January 4.