Flame Arts, an art promotional organisation, arranged a group exhibition featuring the works of five Nepalese and twelve Bangladeshi artists. The four-day exhibition ended on February 18 at Zainul Gallery, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka.
The vibrant colours were what made the artworks stand out. The images had a very aesthetically pleasant look.
The Nepalese painters
Ajaya Deshar’s bold strokes and vibrant colours give a different dimension to his works. He assembles many things and there is a simplicity, romanticism and realism in his works. Kishor Nakarmi has tried to depict Buddha’s contemplative and spiritual image. His Buddha is meditating but varied, amorphous and scattered forms are seen in the background of his paintings, implying perhaps the worsening political situation in Nepal. Bipana Maharjan’s image is soulful and evocative. A Buddhist temple, painted mostly in red, is the focal point of one of her paintings. She is interested in the interplay of light and shadow, and she superbly merges blue and red. Jyoti Prakash is considered an abstract expressionist. His painting seeks to capture a cosmic world where we live with its balance shaken. Seetu Maskey paints tiny cottages on the green mountains.
The Bangladeshi painters
Rashed Kamal Russell, founder and coordinator of Flame Arts who took the initiative to assemble the artists from the two countries, emerged as a painter in the 1990s. He is regarded as one of our most talented water-colour artists. His works portray alluring nature, private life, riverine life and a panoramic view of rural Bangla. Arifur Rahman Topu, too, has a passion for meticulously portraying the riverine life and rural ambiance with vivacious shades. The medium’s (Oil) thickness offers him a liberty to give his imagination a free rein. Abdus Sattar Toufiq set out as a landscape painter but eventually has moved to surrealism. He frequently uses local motifs or elements in his paintings but his style and approach are very close to surrealism. Urmila Sukla superbly exposes fallen leaves on sheets of cloth. As an experimental painter, she concentrates on the use of simple materials and uneven textures.
Shibanananda Adhikary Biplob, though he has a tendency to paint the seasonal cycle, his acrylic exhibits are more about a symbolic presentation of the political and social disorder. Some of his works evoke childhood dreams and memories. SM Ehsan’s etchings depict the relationship between humans and nature. Sanjib Kanti Das’s works can be considered as abstract expressionism where a skeleton figure depicts the harsh reality of the society. Mingling uneven texture with bright hue, he makes his paintings vibrant as well as giving them a cerebral look.
The other Bangladeshi painters whose works were exhibited are Rania Alam, Mehedi Hasan and Vadreshu Rita.
The group exhibition provided the painters with an opportunity to exchange artistic ideas and celebrate diverse styles, themes, techniques and experiences. Such collaborative efforts bode really well for a healthy cultural scene in which artists of one country can find their kindred spirits in those of the other.
Takir Hossain is a senior journalist who reports on arts and culture.