Of Promising Painters
Akram Hosen Mamun
The Fine Arts Gallery of Asiatic Society, located in the unlooked-for neighbourhood of Nimtali, Old Dhaka, has brought together the art of five young and promising individuals.Three of them are graphic designers at TV channels, one a freelance artist, and another teaches art at a school. Their exhibition is titled “Rhythm of Art”.
For the exhibition opened on September 16, the curators didn't choose a central theme and let the exhibits be more multifaceted and less unitary. The semi-abstract, semi-realist, realist, figurative paintings and engravings hang side by side in the gallery. Some works may even suggest surrealist undertones. Nevertheless, the works seem to be (mostly) communicative and probably provoke less head scratching to the uninitiated.
Sadek Ahmed, the eldest in the group has brought an array of nostalgic watercolours of a decaying city. The most noticeable attribute of his semi-realistic works is probably the lines of his bold strokes. He had also been deliberate in taking advantage of the fluid and transparent nature of watercolour. But that is not to imply that he lacks control or restraint. The fragmented images in mostly rich hues revisit a past era, not failing to invoke nostalgia. However, the interest in the past without arguing for a possible future has been a fad for quite some years now. Besides depoliticising, the tendency makes brilliant works look rather clichéd.
Some of A S M Rashidul Alam's works appear to be surrealistic. Human head, hands, (winged) dogs, and random blotches amidst sickly dark colours are recurring motifs in his works. However, the grotesque world of nightmare that his works inhabit does not seem particularly novel in the contemporary scenario. Still, there are some impressive idiosyncrasies in the sinister nature of his works.
Md Al-Akhir Sarker's figurative paintings on uneven surfaces are comprehensive. “Dream ox” depicts a raging bull in the centre while the canvas is interspersed with flowers. His use of scribbles, squiggles and tiny forms remind one of renowned painter Ranjit Das who may have influenced his works. His figures are bold and energetic.
Adnan Sufian, Villege Shop, water colour. Photos: courtesy
Adnan Sufian's skills in realistic watercolours appear to be the most striking aspect of the exhibition. Some of his works like “Village Shop” is painstakingly detailed. He has been successful in capturing the scenic beauty of the rich greenery of grass and trees in the country. Evergreen shrubs, green fields, small rivers, and wooden bridges have been painted in transparent watercolour with commendable handiness. However, the subject of his works and his choice of colours are rather mundane. The paintings are breathtakingly beautiful but not necessarily out of the ordinary.
Nasrin Naim Aumi's engravings and airbrush impressions are soothingly feminine. Flower, little fishes, birds, and beautiful designs in soft and light colours are recurring motifs in her works.
Although they have each adopted distinctive styles the five artists of this exhibition have a common rhythm in their work which relates to their irresistible attraction to their natural surroundings that have been depicted in their paintings.
The exhibition ends on September 30.