Artist Mohammad Mohiuddin Ahamed graduated with a BFA in painting and drawing from National University and an MFA in painting from University of Alternative Development. Impressions of Surroundings -5, his ninth solo exhibition, is currently taking place at Alliance Française de Dhaka (AFD). Alongside being a professional artist, he is a school teacher. He is also passionate about music and writing.
Given that this is his fifth exhibition of the same name, it is evident that Ahamed is incredibly affected and aware of the effects of his surroundings. While many artists may look to art as a means of escape, Ahamed uses his paints and brushes to ground his relationship with reality.
The paintings featured in the exhibition are all abstract works of art. Upon entering the gallery, the viewers are welcomed by a colourful mesh of shapes and textures. Perhaps there is no set message directed towards the public in Ahamed’s art, but rather, an invitation to reflect upon one’s own feelings, if any, evoked by his paintings.
An expansive canvas that nearly took up an entire wall, features fragments of newspaper collaged amidst bands of highly pigmented paint. This painting reflects the title of the exhibition most closely. When words and phrases such as “Trump”, “at what cost?” and “children need nurturing outside classroom” jump out at us, there is no mistaking that we are standing in the middle of current events without any way of escaping our surroundings.
Growing up at Muladi, Barishal, Ahamed was surrounding by the tranquilities of nature. Having come far away from that life into a metropolitan city, there are some aspects that he could not leave behind. Even though a figure can rarely be identified in his artworks, drawings of fishes and similar shapes can be seen. These drawings acknowledge the rivers surrounding his rural home and the rest of the country.
Different modes of art and storytelling are highlighted in his works, which can inspire the audience to think more broadly and imaginatively. The exhibition will run till October 26.