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           Volume 11 |Issue 12| March 23, 2012 |


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Freedom with Fins and Feathers

Fayza Haq

Fins and Feathers 6, acrylic on canvas, 44x59cm, 2011.
Fins and Feathers 2, acrylic on canvas, 41x56cm, 2008.

Sazzad Hoshen Khan's solo show at Alliance Francaise Gallery, delights his viewers with feathers and fins depicted in varied colours. But the images are not meant to please. They are to illustrate the artist's concern about the degradation of the environment - the polluting of water, land and sky which birds and fish occupy.

The birds, animals, trees and mankind - every living being are at peril because of the after effects of industrialisation and urbanisation.

Whether it is at sea or river or air—where the bird hunts for fish to eat, flying fish, with fins, look for food, or the yellow eyed black cat, with its feelers all strained – every element, that is living — is in danger of being harmed, with time. Human beings are the marauders of nature according to Sazzad. They have spoilt their surroundings in their greed and desperate bid to succeed, to get on in the modern world.

(from left to right) Fins and Feathers 3, acrylic and pen on canvas, 44x59cm, 2011; Fins and Feathers 17, acrylic and pen on canvas, 44x59cm, 2012; Decadence 4, acrylic and pen on canvas, 92x102cm, 2008.

Human beings believe money makes the world move. They think that by harnessing the powers of nature, they can bring the world to their feet. They think of themselves as the masters of all living beings, so that the birds and bees-- respond to them and cater to their selfish existence—an existence that has little care for the greenery of nature that he has polluted, with his whimsical, self-centred ways.

The images show the artist's keen sense for the right colours such as the vermilion on the owl's

beak and pupils, the many-coloured fins of fish, swing tails of birds. The acrylic and pen depiction of the startling vermilion and yellow piercing beak of the white stork and pelican, the angry yellow eyes of the cat, fish and bird—one feels the artist's concern for the dying and degenerate Nature, which once gave mankind its reason for existence.

Carmine, yellow-ochre, Nile –blue, and masses of gray and black make Sazzad's oil and acrylic alive with fury and passion of an angered painter. Yellow ochre, brown and green add subtlety to the expression. One can feel the absurdity of the situation, and the surrealistic depiction is modern man's view, of what man is doing to man.

Resilience 2, acrylic on canvas, 77x92cm, 2007.

Rafiqun Nabi, former Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Dhaka, has high praises for Sazzad: "His interest lay in new ways to express himself—he was always hard-working and creative. The way he paints flamingos, owls etc make his work unique indeed and enjoyable. He appeals to his sea of viewers, young and old, and of all sexes. His remarkable eye for details wins the heart of each onlooker. His play of colours, of light and shade, is also admirable."

Sazzad's recent visit to European galleries has broadened his horizon and his courage to usher in the world around him. He delights in making the humble and ordinary around him look beautiful and exotic -his exhibition is a dream of fanciful creatures with fins and feathers. His lines, forms, colours and his presentation of Nature should please many art buffs.

The young artist himself says that he always wished to be a writer, to be reckoned with, and to be taken seriously, with a message of his own. He says that he wants to depict birds and animals in a manner that makes him more than aware of Nature around him. He wants mankind to be mindful of the fear of extinction of Nature, and Nature's bounty around us, which we take for granted. He wants even the ordinary blossoms of the cracked earth to be man's concern. “In fins and feathers, I focus my philosophy”, says Sazzad.

Sazzad has exhibited earlier, in India, Germany, Italy and Japan, apart from several other places, at home and abroad. He has visited in the hope to learn and give his viewers something new, something fresh. “Fins and feathers” marks the beginning of a new endeavour.


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