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    Volume 9 Issue 22| May 28, 2010|

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Rooted Creativity

Fayza Haq

Rokeya Sultana, Bathing, Tempera on paper and canvas. Dhali Al Mamun, After Happenings and After Happiness-3, oil on canvas.

Spanning three generations and bringing in art work from the sixties, Rooted Creativity 2, Bengal Gallery's second gala exhibit is a spectacular visual treat. Many of the works by very well known artists depict the conflicts and crisis of society. But they also combine the fanciful and romantic with the realistic, myth with the historical. They remain innovative and imaginative. Works include those of excellent painters such as Samarjit Roy Chowdhury, Kalidas Karmakar and Shahid Kabir. It also has the works of veteran women painters like Farida Zaman and Rokeya Sultana.

Abdus Shakoor Shah says,"In this exhibition I have not only dealt with the faces, but have also included figures; in one I have surrounded the area around the face with flowers of the region. I have maintained the words of the Mymensingh Geetika poems. In my work one also finds the use of the traditional gamcha with their blue and green checks, as well the motifs found in the shalwar-kameez worn by young women.”

Shakoor's myths, ballads and folktales appear to be taken out of the pages of the past where the accompanying writing gives more depth to the stylised figures, animals and birds. His legends from Mymensingh Geetika go back many centuries. In his paintings he combines folk traditions with modern innovative methods. Even though painted with greens, blues, and purples, the village characters appear lively and exotic.

Farida Zaman, Sufia in Joy-1, acrylic on canvas

Samarjit Roy Chowdhury, now Dean of Faculty of Fine and Performing Art, Shanto Marium University says, "One needs more patrons than Bengal Gallery Of Fine Arts. I myself have maintained folk art. There is prominence of lines, and bright, raw basic colours. The figures of birds and Tagore's 'Chitrongada' kings and queens give the canvas the traditional touch. The royal figures have ornaments in blues, reds and yellows. The face and limbs of the figures take geometrical shapes. Tiny boats and kites are included in the motifs to make the setting richer. I've tried to show what we see around us every day boats, houses and Ferris wheels apart from courting couples."

Abdul Muqtadir introduces crows, roosters, and cats in his paintings. At times we see only bunches of flowers and tops of trees suggesting human forms. There is a tremendous element of inner peace projected in the paintings.

Farida Zaman, who did her PhD from Shantiniketan says, “My pictures are spun around a girl called Sufia. I've brought in boats and water which play such an important part of our lives. Fishing nets are suggested then actually brought in.” She often bases her work on her memories. She depicts people interacting with nature.

Explaining her paintings Rokeya Sultana, now professor of Printmaking at DU says, “There's a lot of white in my work as they are meant to be fragmented dreams and recollected memories of the past which give us great pleasure today. A lot of white have gone into the compositions,” Earlier on she has done many moving pieces on women and her travails in the 'Madonna' series. She deals with women's problems in her series 'Madonna'." She is also concerned with the preservation of environment and is greatly moved by the nature poets of Bengal.

Samarjit Roy Choudhury, From the Poem Chitrangada, acrylic on canvas. Shahid Kabir, From the Ground-1, acrylic and mixed media on canvas.

Shahid Kabir's “Rakta Jaba” is an enlarged depiction of the delicate flower seen from bottom and done in mixed media and acrylic. The picture is alive with red and pink with bits of green and gold. His “Slum Queen Nargis”, done in variations of green, shows a young woman drying her long, black hair with a white towel. The silhouettes lend an element of movement. His other two still life depict jugs of flowers seen from the bottom of tables.

Kabir who has lived in Spain for decades, brings in realism touched with lyricism. He brings in the poetry of everyday life. In cups, saucers, water jugs he brings in the harmony, beauty and celebration of everyday existence.

Kalidas Karmakar, who has done extensive studies in Poland and Japan and excels in mixed media, paintings and graphics, has his works too in the exhibition. He combines symbols with abstractions. He has placed seashells on gray and black in this exhibition, combining acrylic with mixed media. He has won awards in Poland and France.

Kazi Ghiyasuddin, who lives in Japan, paints rich canvases, which are textured. His large canvases, which include humans, play of light and shade and lend interest to his works.

Dhali Al Mamun, Associate Professor, Departmen of Fine Arts, Chittagong University deals with different subjects such as murder by religious fanatics and the ruination of Hill Tracts life by the construction of the Kaptai Dam.

Mohammad Eunus , who combines abstraction with suggestiveness, adds nature to lend depth to his work. He has won prizes in the US, Iran and Japan.

The passion, energy and imagination of this group of artists clearly depicts the lifestyle of our people.


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