Photo: Prabir Das
Shimul Saha's innovative visual arts have always been one of the major attractions in any art exhibition. Saha has introduced a new dimension of visual art by using entirely unique materials to depict day to day struggles of human life, philosophical ideas and messages of peace and equality in a mind blowing manner. He is the first artist in Bangladesh who uses transparent medium and light as the key materials for his artistic creations.
A graduate from the department of sculpture of Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka, Saha has always been a freethinker about art and craftsmanship. Change, experiment and innovations are the only rules he follows. “I am very fortunate that in the department of sculpture we had enjoyed the freedom to experiment with new ideas and our teachers used to encourage us to create new things,” says Saha.
“This freedom helped me a lot to cope up with the dynamic curriculum of Beaconhouse National University at Lahore where I completed MA in art and design studies. Knowledge from these two renowned art institutions has helped me launch the totally new concept of visual art,” adds Saha.
Saha uses transparent material and light to depict his message. He uses transparent acrylic sheets, LED lights, phosphorus coat and many uncommon materials to create an attractive, mysterious milieu of light and shade while describing the message of humanity. “I have to research a lot on the materials before using them on my creation. Even in some cases I had to spend six months just to find which materials would be perfect to illustrate my message in the art. Instead of putting light on the art, I create them in such a way that they glow from within,” says Saha.
One of his amazing works is called “Couple of Sip” which is actually resembles a pair of beautifully designed wine glasses at the first glance. However, if anyone looks at the shadow of the glowing glasses made of nickel metal, he or she will see that the shadow reveals thousands of symbols representing male and female clinging to each other thus giving the message that every person in the society irrespective of their biological identity are equal and dependent on each other.
One of his recent works titled “Towards the Being” has impressively depicted human's struggle to survive by fighting against cancer. For this piece of art, Saha has used sandpaper, slabs of Plaster of Paris and backlit light to illustrate how mysterious cancer cells grow silently in human body and make a strong, fatal impact in the end.
For his pioneering role in visual art, Saha's works have been exhibited in numerous renowned art exhibitions at home and abroad. He was awarded with honourable mention in the 21st National Art Exhibition in 2015 organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Saha is also a trustee of Britto Arts Trust, a non-profit organisation fully run by artists. The organisation has been working to introduce newer and more innovative forms and mediums of art to the emerging Bangladeshi artists. Besides creating new art pieces, Saha also teaches about new media and sculpting with light and transparent medium in different art institutions.