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    Volume 11 |Issue 24| June 15, 2012 |


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In Fluid Motion

Akram Hosen Mamun

Borsha, watercolour, 30x23cm, 2012. Image: Courtesy

Shohag Parvez is quite well known in our art circuit for his exquisite watercolours depicting the natural grandeur of the country in a loose, fluid style. In this regard, his next 10-day-long exhibition, starting from June 16 at Galleri Kaya in Uttara, is no different from the previous ones. He has a romantic zeal for portraying nature in all its silence and motionlessness. The subjects of most of his works are cloudy skies, evergreen shrubs, riverine beauty and the everyday chores of villagers and indigenous people.

Sangu Nodi 15, watercolour, 56x40cm, 2012.
Image: Courtesy

Probably, the most notable feature in his works is his manipulation of transparent, fluid colours to depict figures that seem immobile. Nevertheless, his attempts to portray motion on canvas--a defining characteristic of impressionist art which seems to have a lot of influence on Parvez--in a couple of works like "Kal Boishakhi" and "Borsa" are more than just successful.

What makes his recent watercolours remarkable is his personal technique in creating the effects of water on the mid-size canvases. Simple, ordinary subject matters become vibrant forms on the translucent layers of tints. His earlier works, which were usually featured on large canvases seemed more courageous than the recent ones.

Looking at the exhibits, one has the impression that there is no better way to portray the freshness and simplicity of nature than Parvez's layers of thin colours that give a watery look to all of his works. From the very beginning of his career as a painter, he accentuated his passion for the panoramic world in his graceful abundance of rich colours, various shades and shadows of greenery and unusual depiction of light that seems to glow rather than flash in the dark. In terms of subject matter, the present works are a continuation of his romantic tendencies on the one hand, while on the other, his barely visible brush strokes of dark tints reflect his impressionist leanings.

Depictions of rainy days and thunderstorms are among the best entries at the exhibition. His perception of motion and light can be seen in those pieces. The darkness and stillness of a river by the city at night in "Rater Sitolokkha - 1" is almost palpable. The representations of landscapes, rustic and indigenous cultures, even the one of Old Dhaka in the afternoon are idealised and possess great aesthetic appeal. As a result, the viewers can easily relate to his familiar themes of stillness, solitude and serenity that are the recurrent motifs in his works.

Machh Dhara 2, watercolour, 30x23cm, 2012.

Parvez was born and brought up in Kushtia. He says that he spent most of his leisure hours by the river Gorai. That explains why the subject of so many of his works is rivers, ponds, boats and ships immersed in the inland waterway.

He has also some detailed and refined drawings to his credit. The acrylics and poster colours are also notably detailed.

In his romantic stupor, the artist seems to find peace and hope in nature. Although the lines and strokes are commendably spontaneous, every one of them adds to the serenity of the subjects. The close observation of nature can be found in his portrayal of soft light, darkness and changes of season. As a result, the predominant hues are azure, emerald green, yellow, black and white.

The works are aesthetically pleasing, but are devoid of complexities and contradictions that characterise contemporary art. However, the viewers don't expect to see the themes of modernist sterility and decay in the exhibition of a romantic, anyway.

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