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    Volume 9 Issue 26| June 25, 2010|

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The Power to Dazzle

Fayza Haq

Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Sound of Peace-1, acrylic on canvas.

Bengal gallery's third bash to celebrate its tenth year has been dazzling. All ranks of artists were present, along with many of the spectacular works that characterise each signature.

Nasreen Begum's “Pipra Kahini” is a series that depicts the world of ants, the way these little creatures live and work. Deftly along with her innovative theme, she has brought in faces and figures of women, in pain, in a helpless state, women who are no longer alive. The image of watermelons symbolise bloodshed.

Abul Barq Alvi has depicted landscapes, which have always fascinated him. Taking from nature he has brought in the skies, trees and waterways in geometrical shapes. At times, he brings in the bird's eye views, which also appears intriguing.

Alok Roy says, “There are sculpture pieces within the sculptures. I depict the friendship and affinity between the potter and the sculptor. I want to make it clear that nature can progress without us but we cannot live without them. The air water and food all come from nature.” He has also tried to analyse Baul's song regarding the bird in the cage. Ranjit Das has continued with his style of portraits connected with events. Recently his parents passed away, and since then he is preoccupied with wondering about the peace of their soul. The portraits are his own in gold, copper, and bronze tints, wondering about the last destiny of man. These were acrylic on canvas and labeled “Searching for the soul”. He is constantly experimenting, trying to make his work more sophisticated than before. His canvas reminds the audience of the past as well as the future.

Naima Haque has sharp lines that stand for desires, mental anxieties. One of the paintings portrays a woman in a white sari, contemplating on her present situation, and holding to a lotus pod without seeds, lotus being the symbol of knowledge. Her paintings are labeled “Memory and interference” and “Layers of imagination”. In Naima's picture one can see the past, present and future; along with happiness there is also pain and suffering. She is also preoccupied with the transformation of elements. Sober and sophisticated, she is always in search of the “inner' world.”

Kanak Chanpa Chakma, dwelling on her work deals with indigenous women bathing in the dim light of sunset and tribal girls gossiping together on a moonlit night. The scenes of the waterfall with the figures of the young women are from her imagination. Her other paintings are elements taken from the Buddhist way of life with stress on their saffron robes, a large bell and candles. The bell is a symbol of peace. A Tibetan Buddhist monk with a prayer wheel in hand is portrayed on her last canvas. Dark sacred images are included in the backdrop.

Naima Haque, Autumn Evening, acrylic on canvas.

Abu Taher says that his work includes nature and one of his paintings in particular brings in 1971. The flying pigeons stand for victory and the vibrant piece of canvas stands for the land that has been retrieved. The next is his depiction of his country “My eternal mother” which no longer contains the peace and harmony of the past. He gives value to both his texture and colour as he explores the tapestry of his own work with its play of light and shade.

The senior most artist in the group is Mustafa Monwar, known for his water-colour and puppetry. He studied at the Calcutta Art College, where he won a gold medal. In his paintings he too was inspired by the rain filled clouds, flowing rivers and the yellow mustard fields of Bangladesh. His soft, idyllic work is in contrast to some of the angst-ridden work of his contemporaries.

Shishir Bhattacharjee's dynamic drawings and unique sketches drawing attention to the social disorders of his times are full of satire and humour.

Swapan Chowduhry's works are symbolic and suggestive; they speak of a world of pain and suffering.

The numerous styles and themes of the ten artists in the group represent the richness of the vision of these artists.

Left: Nasreen Begum, Ant Story-4, acrylic on canvas. Right: Ranjit Das, Searching for Soul-10, acrylic on canvas.

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