Telling stories with metal and water
Trees, flowers and mythical characters spouting water in a lush green field welcomed keen observers. The fountains excited children while their aesthetic details drew prospective buyers. The unusual event provided a welcome respite to Dhaka residents who crave and need it.
Gulshan Society in collaboration with Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) has organised the two-week long exhibition -- showcasing scrap metal sculptured fountains created by Arham Ul Huq Chowdhury.
The scrap metal used to make the fountains is mostly from CRP's mobility aid making workshop. Thirteen fountains are on display at Gulshan Society Lake Park. The exhibition opened on April 20 and will continue till May 4. All proceeds will go to CRP's wellness funds.
Arham has been working with CRP for almost 20 years, holding multiple exhibitions to further CRP's causes. The fountains are meticulously conceptualised to go with the flow and theme of water -- whether it be the snakes on Medusa's head spitting venom, or a mother sheltering her child from the rain.
“I lay the foundation of the pieces and individuals at CRP follow through,” the artist said. “Before starting any piece, I explain to them the story behind the work.”
From afar, the fountains seem animated due to the splashing of water, but a closer inspection reveals more intricacies. “The water adds a new dimension to the pieces. If you look through my previous works, you'll notice the pieces get more and more complex, so it's a form of progression,” Arham said.
While strolling through the exhibition, the artist elaborated on stories and specific features of the works.
Regarding a fountain titled “Rain Euphony”, which features three people dancing in the rain, Arham explained, “If you notice, the three are standing on a drum-like structure, and that's by design. The water falling inside the drum produces a distinct echo which enhances the sound.”
The fountain titled “Kumudini” is a pool of lotuses, but upon closer inspection, one can see butterflies on specific flowers and leaves, and even fish under water, Arham pointed out.
“As for 'Megh Malhar', if you look closely and listen carefully, the water falling from above produces a distinct high-pitched sound, almost melodic in nature,” he added.
When asked about the significance of the event and collaborations of this sort, Shukla Sarwat Siraj, secretary general of Gulshan Society, said, “The aim of this event is to promote inclusiveness, highlight the importance of saving our environment as well as showcase our culture.”
“Collaborations like this bring together resources, members and skills of different organisations which give us a better chance of attracting more individuals to help our causes,” she added.
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