Revisiting down memory lanePunny Kabir
Mohammad Iqbal’s solo art show, depicting the artist’s journey down memory lane, is being held at Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.
The exhibition, titled ‘Peace in the Times of Disquiet’, features very expressive faces of children on the backdrop of forlorn times and dismal social realities, as depicted by the nostalgic artist Iqbal, who is one of the prominent artists in the contemporary art scenario in the country.
The title of the 12-day exhibition indicates the artist’s venture to bring solace to the souls that have been lost in times of struggle. In paintings such as ‘Language of Pain’ and ‘Lost Civilisation’, the talented artist has not only echoed the deepening crisis of the near past but also conveyed remorse over the lost innocence of childhood. Among the illustrations, a series work ‘Destruction ’71’ directly touches the violent historical epoch of the War of Independence while re-energising the trauma he suffered as a child in those days.
In the pieces where faces of children play central roles, viewers can also see shadow-like renditions of horses and adult humans, depicted with a few reminiscent lines which beautify the compositions.
Iqbal's paintings, displayed at the exhibition, also feature semi-human figures and visages, saints, Bauls, ancient edifice, hills and the sky. The painting ‘Outside of Social Bondage’ presents a portrait of a Baul devotee and some shadowy forms of human bodies, demonstrating the artist’s compassion for the ascetics who isolate themselves in search of ultimate peace.
His canvases, most of which are painted with oil, are distinct with scattered lines and obscure figures.
Iqbal completed his MFA in Drawing and Painting from Institute of Fine Arts (now Faculty of Fine Arts), University of Dhaka in 1989. He obtained a PhD in oil painting from Tokyo University of the Arts. He is now an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka.
The artist has received several national and international awards, including the Nomura Award (Grand Prize), Aoki Shigeru Memorial Grand Prize, International Triennial Competition of Painting (Osaka), Young Artists Award, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Award and more.
Professor Dr Borhanuddin Khan Jahangir inaugurated the exhibition on Friday as chief guest, while Shiro Sadoshima, ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh, and veteran artist Rafiqun Nabi were present as special guests.
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