Amidst the depths of darkness, comes the light of hope. When in despair, uncertainty and hopelessness, we are at times thrown into a sea of positivity. That is what makes human existence so beautiful. It is our resilience that makes our life pass.
The recently inaugurated art exhibition - 'Contemporary Vibes' - at the Galleri Kaya in Uttara is a refreshing breath of air that seemed suffocating in the recent past. Featuring the works of 10 artists - 5 printmakers and 5 seasoned watercolour painters - this is one exhibition that can truly claim to be contemporary. The contrast is easy to spot. The natural, flowing tones of colour set against the 'grainy' effects of the woodcut prints and the lithographs. And so is also true for the subject matter.
The demi god-like Romanesque man that greets the viewer upon entering the hall is a wonderful depiction of the duality of our lives, torn between our beliefs and the reality that we are experiencing. Set against a clock, the imagery by Ruhul Amin Tarek somewhat leaves the viewer with the question: is the rat race all worth it? The texture that gives life to woodcut prints somehow sets the tone of Tarek's work and makes the anguish, so inherent in his work, strike human consciousness.
Printmaking has really piqued the interests of art lovers as more and more artists are now venturing into this medium. The five printmakers whose works are being displayed in the show, somehow bring a different perspective to our urban existence.
Anisuzzaman is one printmaker who also captures moments of the present. His depiction of buildings under construction, The Kaleidoscopic Complexities, has enthralled audiences for more than a decade and this cold, realistic imagery of life in a metropolis sets a notion that craves warmth. Devoid of any figurative representations the works portray a stark, urban reality.
Nagarbasi Barman and his series of images on 'Broken Boats' somehow brings the audience close to the realities of a now decadent pastoral setting. Boats are a symbol of rural life, they recall nostalgia, but to most of people in this riverine country, they symbolise vocation, livelihoods and prosperity.
Barman and his boats that are now 'broken' romanticise the mode of transport that was once so important in our lives. He also draws fish and fishing nets – all part of an ensemble that will stir the consciousness of urban dwellers, now far from their rural roots.
Bouncing back to nostalgia of the urban setting, Sheikh Md. Rokonuzzaman plays with the notions of city life. The six subsequent imageries titled 'A Journey from Reality to Another' that brings the bicycle from a shady form to a colourful present may be a representation of life changing hues, or just coming back to life.
Rounding up the work of the printmakers, Ashraful Hasan presents a series of images which may seem morose at first, but a closer look will reveal how human forms are still intertwined with nature. Contrasting to Tarek who works with the male figure, Hasan focuses on the female form, a symbol of fertility and vivacity.
Shohag Parvez is a keen observer of nature that surrounds him, without intruding into his picturesque settings. Yet, that does not take away from the details. In fact it is the detail that makes his work interesting. The verve of his drawings brings us one step closer to nature, which he keenly studies and lyrically paints.
Shahanoor Mamun on the other hand immerses himself in the images he draws. The depiction of the alleys of the urban setting, the rickshaw pullers and the overhung electric wires all present a known scene. It is his personal affinity with his subjects that takes away the 'coldness' of the cities and gives in a sense of comfort.
As all art aficionados will appreciate, watercolours tend to bring positivity of subject matters; through a transient riot of colours that the painters draw he takes us on a ride. One that touches us. Keeping true to the contemporary, on one may argue – the timeless appeal of the rural riverscape, Kamaluddin also draws boats and scenes from the busy banks of a river port but his work is essentially different from all the other painters who are showing their work at Galleri Kaya. Kamaluddin does not paint the bustling scenes but draws more to the tranquillity of the scene. His pictures are not unmanned, but the focus is deliberately on the boats and other river vessels.
Aloptogin Tushar will appeal to the old school art aficionado, but his work is no less contemporary. His brilliant, colourful still lives add a different dimension to the whole experience that the show offers. His rendition of the pastoral setting in his landscapes however speaks in a different language, opposed to the still life. There is a commotion in his work. One that will move and touch souls.
Azmeer Hossain aptly terms his series, 'Mindscape' – an abstract representation of the contemporary psyche. His colours are soft and the content thought provoking. The imagery that he uses to portray the mind of the people is a wonderful depiction of life.
'Contemporary Vibes – Watercolors & Graphic Prints' is now open at Galleri Kaya and will continue till 17 March 2015. Galleri Kaya is located at House #20, Road 16, Sector 4, Uttara. For more information call 8959453.