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     Volume 10 |Issue 07 | February 18, 2011 |


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Agony of a tree, acrylic on canvas, 2010.

Carnival of Agony


Ashraful Hasan's solo exhibition that started on February 11 and ends February 24, at Gallery Kaya in Uttara, portrays his perception about agony presented through exquisite paintings that never fail to amaze. Graduating with the degree in Master of Fine Arts from University of Chittagong, Ashraful Hasan has received several awards from Shilpakala Academy and various Art institutes as recognition of his work. In this exhibition, he has tried to depict the frustration festering within the silent nature and also humans, simultaneously. The meticulous strokes of oil paint with impeccable shades of colours give three dimensional effects that make them look like photographs rather than paintings. His paintings extract the result of human exploitation and manipulation on nature and humans themselves.

Pen and Newspaper, acrylic on canvas, 2010.

An acrlyic and oil on canvas called 'Agony of a tree' emerges out of a gloomy black background and human features capture a helpless cry that personifies it. Its one eye droops down by the weight of stored tears , while bearing a tear on the other eye. A mouth opens trying to voice out pain and anguish, as its fresh, green leaves die an unnatural death leaving its branches bare. Yet, the tree is shackled by the cruel truth that no matter how much it tries to scream its voiceless cries of pain will not make any difference to the brutal humans.

This exquisite revelation of nature is followed by another striking painting called “Displaced Tree”, depicting the unwarranted suffocation of nature due to human's sense of modern aesthetics construed by “urbanisation”. As the bare tree that has been stripped off its leaves, peeks out of the concrete dimensions, it tries to catch one glimpse of the sky hosting gradual shades of blue, which slowly fades away in the dense structure of the city. This reveals how humans' have restricted the beauty and the life of trees within the concrete, brick walls of cities, which is befitting for the nature, thus causing it to decay and suffocate.


Tree Man on Newspaper, acrylic on canvas, 2010.
Newspaper and Rope, acrylic on canvas, 2010.

“Newspaper and rope” on the other hand, is entirely on a different level, depicting how humans' themselves restrict and manipulate their source of knowledge. Again emerging from a pitch-black background is a stack of newspapers sitting on which is another newspaper personifying a human. The newspapers are painted with intense detailing to portray a distressed human figure that is tied up by a yellow and purple rope from two sides as though someone is trying to strangle the newspaper-man. The painting shows how even the newspaper, which is the voice of humans, is tied up, strangled and suffocated. Clearly it is a portrait of despair trying to convey the message that, humans themselves are the cause of their own destruction.

With an undeniable gift to create life-like images, Ashraful's paintings are disturbing yet hauntingly beautiful, painful yet demanding attention. They are cries of help from both nature and humankind, to be freed from degradation of all kinds.



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