“I can't tell you how many times I heard the reprimand, 'Stop doodling and get to work', when I was a child. My teachers were constantly telling me to stop drawing pictures and focus on the lessons at class. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be abstract shapes. Doodling can assist a person's memory by expending just enough energy to keep one from inattention or carelessness,” said Mustapha Khalid Palash.
The artist's latest solo drawing exhibition, titled “Of Tears and Joy”, is now on at Dhaka Art Centre in Dhanmondi. Palash is a well-known architect. His designs are noted for experimentation. His novel approach towards architecture has earned him a sought-after reputation. Besides being an architect, he is also an ardent painter. Since the late '80s, he has been active in the Bangladeshi art circuit. His last solo exhibition was held in 2009.
Considering he is one of the leading architects of the country, Palash is usually very busy. He sketches either when having long telephone conversations or during boring meetings. He likes to draw when he is chatting with someone. He does it without any specific intention.
Commencing with a simple line or circle (the artist uses pen, pencil, pastel and felt) on regular paper, sketch pads, tiny paper pieces, envelopes or tissue paper, he has developed a style that denotes simplicity and depth. At first, Palash unintentionally makes the ground with sharp straight and spherical lines, then he applies crisscrossed lines, curves, circles, loops, oval and squares shapes -- all merging to articulate his visions and thoughts. These various forms also have a spinning look. His sketches feature details of an architectural design and highlight some significant parts of a structure. Sometimes he emphasises on pure architectural designs and shapes where one can easily sense his dedication and sincerity to his profession. Some of his drawings depict surface as well as inner structure, staircase details, parking floor plans or toilet details. Some forms and compositions lend an aesthetic flavour to his creations.
Drawings are a manifestation of the thoughts and what literally makes the daily life of an artist. A painter's drawings give articulate expression to his or her personality and thought process. Palash's drawings show the world the way he sees it, and manifest the essence of the things he has seen.
When Palash feels distressed or troubled and his creative endeavour flourishes, pen and paper assist him to explore his visions. He records his frustration, longing, bliss and other experiences on paper, which becomes a mirror of his pensive mood.
His drawings are synchronised and technically phenomenal. He wants to proceed with a certain style that can become a personal hallmark of his works.
Vibrant colours and fragmented shapes present a kaleidoscopic vision to the viewers. Palash's works look very animated because of the use of varied shapes, evocative lines and vivid colours. In fact, his rectangular and vertical lines create dazzling rays -- each possessing an individual look and language.
The exhibition will continue till June 30.