• Tuesday, July 29, 2014

“Manuscript in Colours”

Esmaeker Uddin Ahmed, an introvert painter

Fayza Haq

Esmaeker's paintings at Shilpangan Gallery were a bit like the works of the artists of the past, especially SM Sultan. It is said that the artist is one of the best in batik art in Bangladesh. When he had his open heart surgery recently, he took to sketching cows, birds, women, among other subjects.
A quiet individual, the artist is never one to ask favours for himself or his family. A music enthusiast, he is a withdrawn personality.
In this exhibition from May 16-30, he displays 43 paintings, sketches and works in acrylic.
In Esmaeker's “Afternoon”, the birds are seen returning before evening. The women too are seen returning home after their evening bath. The birds sing together, as they return in unison. The cows with their large ears and eyes, also collect to go home. The girl, hiding behind the trunk of a tree is taken aback by the enormity of the evening's activity.
 His face of a Baul has green blue and brown streaks, combined with black lines. The composition with storks shows two birds having a bath in the rain. Some are walking up, while the others have their faces down. The backdrop is blue and red.
While working with acrylic, the fish appear to dance in the rainy season, coming very near the boat so that the stork can have a feast of it. The catching of the bird is like some gala performance--with a stage and other elements.
 Esmeaker's still life has a rounded metal container with small white flowers at the end of long stems. It is unusual in its elegance. His drawing recall painters of the past with careful eyes and nose as well as facial features. They appear to be from pages of paintings of the past, where women's eyes were languorous. Among the sketches of women, we find one with a child, one bearing an earthen ware vessel on the hips, returning from fetching water from the pond nearby. There are also two, dancing their heart away, stripped of their clothes.


His “Nabanna”, and oil on canvas, has three threshing women with their “koolas”. All have flowing saris, red or yellow and wear earrings and bangles. There are four cocks in the background. “Three Friends” are similarly busy collecting water for household consumption in earthen vessels. “Three Sisters” is again like “Three graces” wiping their hair, with the red and yellow morning sky behind them.
There were also boats lines up, recalling Syed Jahangir's famous paintings. There are coconut trees in the work of the man who has painted for 30 years.
His teachers included Rafiqun Nabi, the late Abdul Basset, and Shahid Kabir. Earlier, he had a water-colour exhibition in Chittagong and one at Chitrak in 2002.

Published: 12:00 am Tuesday, May 20, 2014

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