Capering the colours of the cosmos | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 17, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 17, 2008

Capering the colours of the cosmos

Ali Imam's solo exhibition at Alliance Francaise


Face 1 and Cosmic Journey 3 by Ali Imam

A solo exhibition featuring paintings by Ali Imam -- who is an architect by profession -- is on at the Alliance Francaise. For Imam, art is a journey into the mysteries of the cosmos. He wishes to reach the unknown terrain of human consciousness. Through bold bars of lines he wishes to present the unknown and the mysterious. The artist presents animals and humans to delineate stories within stories. They appear as characters and not simple depictions.
Imam says, "The universe, its unique beauty and the endless flow of life within it have aroused my amazement. Through my endeavours I have been looking for images of innumerable forms in the immense, irresistible life flowing from time immemorial. I've tried to translate my feelings into the language of paintings."
"From childhood I've been interested in art. I intended to study at the Institute of Fine Arts but was dissuaded to study architecture by my father. My profession also deals with visual art form.
"This series is called Cosmic Journey as I'm fascinated by the beginning of the cosmos. The universe is moving away from the centre and within it our life is held. The speed of life, as we see in man and animals, intrigues me too. I try to depict speed, movement, strength and life though the sweeps of my broad strokes. This, I believe is the expressionist style of painting developed in the 1900s," says Imam.
Imam has been inspired by the works of Francis Bacon, De Kooning, Zainul Abedin and Ram Kingkor. He brings in both figurative and abstract into his work to express his emotions and feelings. He has used various colours ranging from white and yellow to purple, blue and black. "For me green is a symbol of life, orange stands for fire and feeling. Blue means agony etc." says Imam.
Sometimes he makes sketches before he paints and at others he paints directly as the mood and inspiration takes him.
He usually works one canvas at a time but at times he even tackles three pieces at one go. While he was a government officer he painted in the evenings but at present he is free to work all day.
One painting depicts baul and a bird, seen against a green sky. The blue horse brings in the movement of the galaxy, while the horse itself is a symbol of strength. There is then a presentation of a male and female figure, seen rotating with the movement of the universe. There are three charcoal drawings of horses and a collection of portraits of famous people too, like Einstein and Tagore.
Ali Imam has taken part in several joint national and international exhibitions.
The exhibition at Alliance Francaise ends on April 20.

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