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        Volume 11 |Issue 14| April 06, 2012 |


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Reality, Myths, and Icons

Fayza Haq

Cactus Flower-2, water colour, 40x55cm, 2011. Image: Courtesy

Britto opens after a year with a bang. The new place is near Green Life Hospital on Green Road near “Chitrak Gallery”. They are holding a new exhibit to celebrate the occasion with Tayabba Begum Lipi as the curator and her husband Mahbub as the assistant. There are 30 participants, from Britto, 16 members from Britto alone, and seven others from outside.

“Mahbuubur Rahman, Tayyaba Begum Lipi, Imaran Hussain Piplu, Masoom Khan Chisti are the trustees. The members include Torun Ghosh, Mollah Sager, Mainul Isam Paul, Hasssanur Rehman Reaz, Khandakar Nasir Ahmed, Yasmin Jahan Nupur, Anisuz Zaman Sohail, Tumdesh Dash Pullok and Saiful Wadud Helal,” says Lipi, giving the intro to the young, trendy and outgoing participants.

All the members give films or parts of workshops, or even icons and installation pieces of their own, and some of the members are even students, like Bishojeet and Khokan Chandra Sarkar. There are 33 eager participants with fresh ideas and nouveau presentations – like Lipi's white metal brassier – that were made in Dhaka, but which look like they were made overseas, and speaks of new inspiration.

Mahboob says, "The films are on Old Dhaka, keeping the Buriganga in focus. Called 'On the banks of the Buriganga', the film belongs to Saiful Wadud Helal. He centred his films around the closing down of old cinema halls. Mollah Sagor's film focuses on the Mandi Community. The title is “Mandi” and is based on rituals where an aging member speaks of nature worship. The other works deal with digital prints and paintings. One of the works was by Imran Hussain Khan Piplu. Some of his items appear like fossils. The digital work manipulates with images. He uses video work with his own image at various times. Yasmine Jahan Nupur primarily deals with installations and has worked for about seven years. Masum experiments with animation and his subject is snakebite. The clay worker is the subject of Mainul Islam Paul. Assistant curator is Ayesha from Lahore, who has been to Dhaka before.”

Cactus Flower-21, water colour, 55x81cm, 2011. Image: Courtesy

Ayesha Sultana, from Lahore says that she met her friend Priti Musharat in Pakistan, who is related to the couple Lipi and Mahbuub. Before that, she had seen Lipi's work “My childhood” and was acquainted with Lipi's work at Bhaluka, which she had visited. She used to visit Dhaka in the summers, she says. Ayesha has done her Bachelor's in Visual Art from Pakistan. In 2009, she showed her eagerness to be a part of Britto.

In contrast to the realistic work of “Britto” was the light, fantastic work of Bappys' at Alliance Francaise gallery, which opened at the same time, on the same day. Drawing as much attention, at the other end of the hub of the city, was Najmul Haque Bappy's work, which reminded one of the works of his well-known teacher Nasreen Begum of Oriental Art. This painting, full of colour and radiating with energy, was also praised by the art authority, Muntasir Mamun, drawing many art buffs of the city.

Bappy brought in elements like cupids, seen as statues, strawberries and bramble bushes, seen in autumn's fair, with cacti, fallen autumnal leaves –both, large and small – and all the hint of memories of the past. The beauty of nature is seen as nostalgia – as is often seen in the work of poets, painters, and artists of renown. Earthy colours, such as vermilion, brown and green dominated in addition to beige and pale lemon. The colours, images, lines and circles are all attuned to harmony. The birds in the paintings appear natural – much more than in the work of most painters. The moon, white stalks, cherubic forms all sing of the beauty that cannot die out, as long as men have eyes, and the power of the brush. The glory of the beauteous cacti flower is seen in various forms, especially in a jar. The joie de vivre, even in fallen autumnal, with all its shapes and colour combinations, is not ignored by the artist.



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