Mustapha Khalid Palash is among the famed Bangladeshi architects. Beyond his architectural practice, he also paints, writes and plays sitar. He took a sitar course at Chhayanaut. Palash said, “I feel as if I'm related to art. Both my parents -- KMG Mustapha and Afroz Mustapha -- were painters in the early 1960s; I grew up in an artistic ambience. My younger brother, noted reciter Shimul Mustapha, and I would frequently go to Chhayanaut as children.
“Our home was like a hub for artists and intellectuals. I've done portraits of many of them. Colour, brush, canvas -- these have been my close companions since childhood. I've written short stories and poems for little magazines, literary journals. At that time, illustration was my preferred medium of art. I did many illustrations and my father's friends praised my work. Some of my friends would also approach me to do illustrations for their books.
“At a very young age, I realised that my paintings were quite mature. This could be the reason why I never participated in any art competition for children.”
At the age of 16, Palash had his first painting exhibition. The exhibition was inaugurated by renowned artist Quamrul Hassan, in 1978. Use of colour is the major aspect of his works. Vivacious colours and fragmented shapes give his works a kaleidoscopic appearance. His works look animated and dynamic because of the use of thick, abundant colours and evocative lines. The lines criss-cross over the paintings. A number of his works feature round forms. These various sizes of spherical shapes have a spinning look.
About Palash's art, fellow architect and art critic Shamsul Wares says, “As a painter, Palash has a modernist instinct. He is inclined towards abandoning the realm of appearances in pursuit of absolute pure form. It is implied not only through his paintings but also his architectural as well as graphic designs. For him abstraction represents a powerful way of perceiving and ultimately transforming the world.”
Palash was born in Dhaka in 1963. He graduated from the Department of Architecture, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in 1988. In 1994, he joined the department as a teacher and taught there for around five years. In 1998 he opened his own architectural design firm. He is considered one of the leading contemporary architects of the country. Some of his well-known designs include UTC Building, The Westin Dhaka, Banglalink head office, Grameenphone corporate head office, Lab Aid Cardiac Hospital etc.