12:00 AM, January 25, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 25, 2013

Pata Chitra: Pride of rural Bengal

Shambhu Acharya's solo exhibition at Dhaka Art Centre

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Takir Hossain

As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, advertising and communication agency Expressions Ltd has organised an art exhibition, featuring the works of Shambhu Acharya. The venue is Dhaka Art Centre, Dhanmondi, in the capital.
Rajeeb Samdani, founder of Samdani Art Foundation and founding committee member of SAAC, Tate Museum UK, inaugurated the exhibition as chief guest. Ramendu Majumdar, managing director of Expressions Ltd; Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh, Shiro Sadoshima; Mohamed Mijarul Quayes, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to the United Kingdom were also present at the inauguration.
Shambhu Acharya, a Pata Chitra artist from Bikrampur, has been widely appreciated by critics, art enthusiasts and collectors in the country. His family has been practicing this art for eight generations. His father was Patua Shudhir Chandra Acharya.
Shambhu said, “My family has been practicing the art form for more than 400 years. Pata Chitra is unique in its presentation and manner of expression. The themes of the paintings include stories of 'Gazir Pata', 'Ramayan', 'Raas Leela', 'Mahabharat', 'Manasha Mangal' and myths from our folk traditions.”
At the exhibition, the subjects of Shambhu's works are simple and rural, and his artistic fascinations have been clearly depicted. The paint is smooth and contained within the borders of the drawing. The artist has used flat colours.
Each of his paintings is a complete story that bears our traditional identity. In the series of paintings, women are seen in bright clothes and silver jewellery. A blend of emotions, hardship and conflict are sensed.
Some of his works depict flowers, betel leaves and birds next to men and women. The method of expression seems to be indigenous and at the same time very modern. The painter has used straight lines and curves when portraying human figure and other subjects. The treatment of lines is simple in nature, giving an illustrative expression to the paintings.
Shambhu has used black ink made from the soot of lamps, vermilion, egg yolk, sabudana and various kinds of clay such as gopi mati, tilok mati, dheu mati etc.
The exhibition will continue till January 30.

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