Trained by Shishir Bhattacharya and Nisar Husain, he goes in for minimisation and symbols. He is bold and dynamic in his analysis of the political, economic and social turmoil that faces us today and has been eating up our economy and education for years. He is against the burning and ruination of factories, buses, the destruction of Hindu and Buddhist temples. The entire exhibition is a clarion call to end the mishaps in our country. He believes that Bangladesh is a secular state where other religions should be allowed to flourish.
As a consequence, there is a nostalgic escape into the past, spent in countryside, with farmers and fishermen. The cram-jammed existence of the townspeople who have no clear goal, except to rake in monetary gains the most amount of reward, leaves him cold. The chicks on farm sand fishing in boats make much more sense to him than buses and factories. Nature is his answer to the ills that plague the planet, a philosophy that he shares with many painters, writers, and musicians. He has admirers among local painters, like artist Rashid Amin and art teacher Anukul Majumder.
Sohel Rana’s “Bongomata”, oil on canvas and “Kristir Sadhok” also on oil, are bursting with colours and joie de vivre. They have shades of gold and brown, while the dancing figures with multiple limbs with bows and arrows are vibrant and full of youthful zest, with his philosophy of admiration of the past and weariness of the present confusion.
The fact that the display is in the Dhaka Art Centre premises tells one that it has the backing of the gallery patrons like Wakilur Rahman and Manzar-e-Haseen. The artist says that he has whiled away his time, being close to the creative world of Shantineketan before he took to imaginative flights — as many artists of Fine Arts Department DU do around the pond and the statues, the trees and the bushes of their Dhaka Art College, that has the passing of maestros galore, such as Mohammed Kibria, Shafiuddin Ahmed and Aminul Islam. Like so many of his contemporaries and predecessors, he is weary of the overpopulated city of Dhaka and other major cities of Bangladesh. The paintings which depict overcrowded building with no respite of gardens or patches of grass and trees, speaks of his displeasure of congested flats and the general pattern of survival in Dhaka; where the water level has fallen, “hartals” take away the shopkeeper’s incentive to work; for students cramming classes on weekends, and for service holders losing out on the take-home money.
The exhibition opened on March 22 and ended on March 27.