• Saturday, July 26, 2014

The search for roots and heritage

Group exhibition of oriental paintings at Zainul Gallery

Saurav Dey
Watercolours by Dr. Malay Bala, Dr. Abdus Satter and Gopal Chandra Saha.
Watercolours by Dr. Malay Bala, Dr. Abdus Satter and Gopal Chandra Saha.

A weeklong Oriental Painting exhibition is on at the Zainul Gallery-2 of the Faculty of Fine Art (FFA), University of Dhaka. Oriental Painting Study Group, (OPSG) in association with The Daily Star has organised the exhibition to celebrate the birth centenary (1914-2014) of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin.
Professor Emeritus Dr. Anisuzzaman inaugurated the exhibition as chief guest while noted litterateur and art critic Professor Syed Manzoorul Islam attended the opening ceremony as special guest. The convener of OPSG and the curator of the exhibition Dr. Malay Bala delivered the welcome address.
The exhibition features 28 artworks by 22 noted and promising artists –such as Tajul Islam, Dr. Abdus Satter, Rofique Ahmed, GC Trivedi, Debashis Pal and Dr. Sushanta Kumar Adhikary. The artists have used watercolour wash technique, tempera, charcoal, acrylic, tapestry and mixed media in their works.
From the portrayal of mythical figures to contemporary socio-political issues to abstract forms, the paintings highlight oriental trends. Ranging from the “Connotation of Shakuntala” to “The Imprisoned and the Free”, their diversities represent different ages. The metaphors are not hard to decode, but rather expressive of their originality, incorporating a simplistic approach to lives and a mystic approach to nature.
Artist Tajul Islam's work depicts the pooled aesthetics of tapestry and calligraphy, while Dr. Abdus Satter has experimented with diverse aspects of art. Noted oriental painter Rofique Ahmed portrays the rhythmic and colourful forms and female figures of traditional Bengal. GC Trivedi's “Illusion of Line” portrays the everyday story of Bengali people. His depiction of lines is evocative of works by Jamini Roy and Quamrul Hassan.
“The purpose of this exhibition is to inspire both artists and art connoisseurs to search for their cultural roots and nurture our art heritage rather than indulging solely in Western trends. The participating artists are conscious of their own heritage, and have devoted themselves to open up a new horizon of oriental painting in Bangladesh,” said convener Dr. Malay Bala, Assistant Professor at the Department of Oriental Art of DU.
The style of oriental painting broadly captures the Chinese, the Japanese, the Persian and the Indian sub-continental paintings, ranging from line-based vase paintings of Indus Valley civilisation to present era paintings. Since tradition does not mean sticking to the worn-outs, the artists come out of the stereotypes and experiment in different areas to rejuvenate the old style in light of modernity. The use of bold curves, vibrant colours, figurative compositions, dynamic movements and incorporation of cubism make some of the paintings stand out. The splendid hues of the paintings unfold multiple facets of life, nature and abstractions.


Crystal Insurance Company Limited has sponsored the exhibition. The exhibition, opening from 11am to 8pm everyday -- closes tomorrow.

Published: 12:00 am Monday, May 05, 2014

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