An Artist of the Floating World
Visual artist Nazia Andaleeb Preema talks about her life and works
How have you started painting?
It actually happened by accident. My parents, like the others' in Bangladesh, wanted me to become a doctor or an engineer. At the same time my family has always encouraged me to paint. One of the reasons why I took to painting was the inspiration that artist Rafikun Nabi (who also happens to be my father's friend) has given me, immediately after I finished my higher secondary exam, he inspired me to get into the Institute of Fine Art, and once I got enrolled into it, it has been a different story altogether. My teachers always inspired me to see the world in a different way, this particularly happened when our teachers used to take us out, closer to the nature, to do some landscape painting. It happened one day when I realised how sublime, wonderful nature is, with it came the urge, irresistible that it is, to capture the moment, the beauty of it, onto my canvass.
And yet pain and passion play an integral role in your work.
You are right. Sometimes I really lose the inspiration to paint. A couple of days ago I went to Nepal to revive my sense of beauty. I cannot draw if I am not emotionally simulated, I do not give any message through my painting, the only reason why I paint, perhaps, is because I want to express myself. You will find traces of things that has been the cause of an overflow of pain and anguish that has been plaguing me for so long. For the last few years I am trying to do some digital painting. The pain and passion you talked about, you will find it in my digital works too.
The style and concept of my paintings come from my experiences, mixed with my fantasy. It's a never-ending story. I used simple irregular forms with their own eccentricities and uniqueness. The intensity and form are not realistic, rather imaginative; which express independence and individuality. The fusion of colour and form inspire my creative ideas and this is an attempt to give them life on canvas. Space in nature has a great impact, emotion and sensation is the language I use. The unity of earth, atmosphere, colour, and time had inspired me to appreciate dimension, texture and structures. I simply draw.
Why digital arts?
I am a part of today's technological revolution. I want people to see the light. Light (illumination) is more important to me than the painting itself. We can only see if there is light, if not, we don't see things at all. We are now in a world where everything is high-tech. And it seems that digits are everywhere. So digital painting has become a form of art, a way of expressing yourself. My digital art with illumination only indicates how fast we are moving towards light. And when light appears nothing exists in front of it. Light means dream, hope, life and purity. In my work I project light, as if, it has become the life of the art.
There is no school to teach this medium of art. For the last couple of years I have been trying to experiment with it. At the same time I am doing a little website building. I am also working on a website where Bangladesh painting will be sold, there will also be a virtual gallery where Bangladeshi art will be exhibited.
Does the difference in form makes a mark in one's work?
I play with my unconscious mind to release my inner dilution of creativity and always choose the mysterious way, the abstract form of expression. My passion is suffering and the pressure of life taking its toll. Pigments and Pixels both are fighting for their own identity. I see my pigments turning to pixels. They in themselves become individual, become single. They have lives of their own. And I am letting them so. I am letting them enjoy their possibilities. So my work is suffering, they are challenged by the possibilities. I am willingly giving up the tradition to get a grip of the new horizon where passion is always challenged by the pressure. Moreover, I want to see how far I can go with this pressurised passion. As I paint traditionally too, you will find the effect of certain strokes in my digital works. I think both the forms compliment each other.
Having said that, in digital work you cannot blend the emotion. Both the mediums are markedly different. If you ask me which one I like the most it will be hard to tell. Both are different, as striking and as wonderful as the other one.
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