The goal of Liza Hasan's art is not solely confined to aesthetics; there is a far bigger purpose than that. Her art is shaped by her urge to bring to fore the emotions of her subjects, while commenting in her own quiet way on the society and culture that encircle her.
Her art, she says, is her voice that helps bring out the emotions of her subjects. “I am not involved in politics, thus my voice might not be heard by many,” she says, “But I try to portray the issues I am deeply concerned about and things that disturb me through my paintings. Each stroke presents my words, my speech.”
Apart from being an artist and running her own art blog called Liza's Brushes, Liza Hasan is the marketing director of HMBR Tools and Chemicals Ltd. She is also the mother of a beautiful toddler.
A tour into Liza's world of water color paintings will leave you stunned, as you realise that one's passion doesn't necessarily need to be decided by their academic pursuit. Liza is a marketing major with no academic training in art, and yet her incredible artwork betrays her lack of experience in the field.
They say watercolour is a difficult medium to work with, as there is no second chance in it. Despite the lack of formal training, Liza decided to pursue this art form, and her work is proof of her expertise in this medium. Liza's artworks are a visual delight. There is no hesitance in the way she uses colours, in fact, she has a spontaneous, ceaseless way with them. “Patience is the keyword for me. You need to play with the paints. The way these colours respond to the cartridge is magical; it is not a medium that you manipulate all by yourself, the paint on the dry and wet surface do their own magic- that is the beauty of watercolour.”
A mostly self-taught artist, 32-year-old Liza's journey with art was an interesting one. “I was never a good student when I was in school. But I started painting when I was 13, under the supervision of artist Saiful Islam,” she says. As a teacher, Saiful Islam played an important role in shaping Liza's interest in art, boosting her confidence in her abilities. Being the youngest student in his class, he would always take pride in this particular student's skills and show her work to every new student. Like many other people who take art as a hobby in their childhood and never think of becoming an artist in their professional life, Liza fell into a similar cycle, as she left art to get her Bachelors and Masters in Marketing.
“I did not know what I wanted to do with my life until 2010 when I finally decided to take up art seriously. Only then did I realise that I wanted to do this all my life,” she says. Since then, her work has been featured in a number of international platforms- Huffington post, Bored Panda, Culture and Lifestyle, and Talenthouse are just a few media portals that highlighted her work.
She has also recently unraveled another talent – that of a successful organiser. As one of the initiators, she has helped set up an amazing platform called Milkshake Collective that promises to bring together different types of artistes - painters, illustrators, graphic designers, pop artistes, photographers, architects and many others under the same umbrella. “As a part of that, we recently had a three day event that attempted to showcase the individuality of each of these artists. We believe in artistic freedom, so we did not have any set rules and regulations imposed on these artists, neither did we go to any sponsor to fund this show. We welcomed art in whichever form, style and quantity the artist wanted to present in.” says Liza, excitement evident in her eyes. The first of its kind in Dhaka, the show was a huge success.
Being a mother influences different aspects of Liza's art. “I try to touch upon social issues, such as the concerns of children trapped in refugee crises around the world, or the perils of child abuse in Bangladesh. For me, borders don't matter; a child from any part of the world is similar to my own child.”
Liza dreams of taking the contemporary art scene to the next level. The platform that she, along with her artist friends, initiated in Bangladesh's art scene has the potential to thrive and grow into a global entity if proper attention is given.
As we bid goodbye, Liza concludes by saying that if given the opportunity, the art world of Bangladesh can be given the boost that it so desperately needs. “Our local art scene is evolving and all our talented artists have incorporated different mediums, styles and approaches here. I think these artistes should be nurtured to reach their full potential. A platform like Milkshake Collective will prime the pump for our contemporary art world.”