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     Volume 8 Issue 83 | August 21, 2009 |

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Ten Episodes

Moutushi Rahman

Shilpanagan's recent 12-day group art exhibition (between July 31 to August 11) titled “10 Episodes” comprising ten of the country's eminent artists was quite a treat for art lovers of Dhaka.

The moment one entered the gallery they were greeted by a painting of a huge head cradled in the middle of a canvas about four and a half feet tall. Within the painting a large array of what looked like gadgets and gizmos were floating around. The top of the head opened up like a box to the seemingly orderly chaos outside. If the whole image was observed a bit from a distance then faint lines of another box enclosing the whole head could be seen, a subtle sarcastic reminder of the boundaries that contain our supposed 'open mindedness'.

Artist: (From Left) Kai Aymaan Moquit, Mohammad Fokhrul Islam and Ivy Zaman

Right next to the head, Md. Iqbal's art pieces seemed like ready candidates to stimulate that 'mind'. His work in strong reds and earth colours cried out the barbarism and sins of war and social injustice he sees everywhere. The children in his paintings, whether in submissive position, head bowed, or staring right out at you, had a simple honesty in them. The expressions on their face contained this sense of insecurity and a sense of uncertainty, as to ask: 'when will the peace come?'

Immediately after, Hamiduzzaman Khan's cool blue waters offered a quiet relief from the stark realities of life. Just staring at his dreamy foggy landscapes, one drifted off to a world of serenity and calm, each telling a story of maybe, the wait for a morning catch, or the first notes of a songbird or nostalgia of days gone by when time was a gift not a luxury.

“Creating an art work is the simplest way to express my feelings, emotions and my love”, says Md. Fokhurul Islam, his art pieces, immediate eye catchers, full and bursting with organic richness. One could stare at his pieces for hours feeling and loving all its curves and dots and blooming images. Toadstools and mushrooms come to mind and sometimes simply a sense of peace.

Proshanta Karmakar Buddha

Quite contrary to Fokhurul's works of organic simplicity, were the works of Anisuzzaman on urban complexity. The amazing detail and delicacy in his strokes really made one take the time to appreciate how beautiful even a pile of rusted rods strewn on the side of a road may seem.

From complexity to minimalism, Kazi Aymaan Moquit work definitely stood out. On first glance his work may come across as simple even childish, but behind those simplistic pictorial images lay under closer observation, a unique language depicted in lines, colours and space created. His images came forth as almost a psychic dimension of primordial existence and his titles perfectly exemplify this need to go back to minimalism or primal existence. His work “Spawn”, for example was a small dark blob in the middle of tonnes of orange and yellow where the orange has been scraped and pulled as if in a state of regeneration to give birth to a single evidence of a biological form.

Shilpanagan had just moved so it was understandable that the venue was a bit in need of some paintwork. Even though the paintings were somewhat crammed, each artist held his or her space with very strong presence and personality whether it was Maksuda Iqbal Nipa in search, for the essence and inner composition of objects, surfaces beneath surfaces or the classic style of water colours of Md. Aloptogin or Ivy Zaman's twisting series of wrought iron sculpture pieces, everyone there could be a viewer completely within the folds, colours and corners of their work.

The small corridors and corner rooms allowed one to have some alone time with a particular image making the experience quite personal, say becoming part of Proshanta Karmakar Buddha's 'Life' creations or Najma Akhtar's 'Secret Notions'.

These ten episodes left one in wanting to experience more work from each artist and purposefully so, for the episodes were to give us only a mere taste of these gifted artists and their styles, so maybe a favourite could be picked and later pursued through the echoing halls of other galleries and shows, in their own full length features.

Artists: (top) Mohammad Iqbal, (bottom) Md. Aloptogin.

Web Design: Kazi Ziaur Rahman


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