Notation.reconstructed: Kazi ghiyasuddin
bengal gallery of fine arts, dhaka
18 april – 26 may, 2015 photos: bks inan and mizanur rahman khoka
Kazi exhibit at Ghiyasuddin’s the Bengal Gallery ‘Notation. Reconstructed Arts Exhibit at the Bengal gallery of fine arts in Dhaka is a journey of abstract expression replete with dichotomies. Juxtapositions abound in the artist’s ode to nature and existence: translucence and opacity, spontaneity and reflection, fragility and strength, complexity and simplicity. The artist displays an imaginative and creative documentation of thoughts, vibrations and rhythms within him and within nature. Introspection they may be but there is an intrinsic power in the way he draws in the viewer, encouraging him or her in turn to build upon a master craftsman’s storytelling.
Born in 19 51, Kazi Ghiyasuddin spent his formative years in the rural environs of Madaripur, living alongside a river surrounded by lush greenery. The passing seasons with their accompanying sights and sounds are some of the earliest memories that Ghiyasuddin holds dear. Several decades on, word is they remain among the heaviest influences on his work. The artist began his academic career in art with a BFA and an MFA degree from Dhaka University. During this period, eminent artist Mohammad Kibria, the forerunner of the abstract field in Bangladesh, taught Ghiyasuddin and left an indelible impression on his young mind. The artist then moved to Japan in 1975 for further study- a step that was to change his life irrevocably. He went on to complete a second MFA and a PhD. Whilst Japanese and Western art and artists have deeply impacted Ghiyasuddin, the umbilical cord to the motherland has remained strong and the artist has kept coming back. Currently, he spends half the year in Tokyo and the remaining half in a suburb outside Dhaka.
In this exhibit, the artist has featured works in watercolour, his favourite medium, alongside oil on canvas as well as on Japanese hand-pressed paper. The colours he uses vary from deep, dark hues of red, midnight blue and mahogany to light blue, ivory and near white. Each piece is distinctive in composition, and spatial arrangement, and is enhanced by a variety of oil and watercolour techniques. The mood evoked by each work is, likewise, distinctive. Some pieces of work such as After the Storm emanate a sense of calm and harmony – in part from the principally light blue canvas and in part from the sparse usage of the artist’s motifs. In creating such works, the artist has sometimes taken up to several years – reflecting, applying, effacing, rebuilding. The powerful pigmentation, intersection of abundant lines and curves leaping across the canvas in Sound of Blue, suggest a sense of chaos. Ghiyasuddin applies his own motifs in a complex depiction of everyday objects such as houses and windows as well as symbols from local folktales, myths and his own childhood memories of Bangladesh. Melocfy of Water is a piece on paper where all these elements seem most potent. The opaque intensity of other works is replaced here with a magical translucency. Viewers will be taken aback by the fluidity of the strokes – almost imitating the flow of water. Indeed, in contrast with other oil pieces, there is spontaneity in the way the artist has punctuated the canvas with his own letters, perhaps in an attempt to bring to the fore the music he hears every time he recalls his early childhood. It is almost as if one can hear the gentle murmur of a stream or the forceful current of a river. Harking back to his childhood in rural Bangladesh, Ghiyasuddin reveals what he loves most about this country – its natural beauty. Through his, he is able to include viewers into his most intimate of experiences and in turn, evoke similar moments and memories within them. The artist personifies nature as an immutable force in all its shades – tender, loving, nurturing, ruthless and destructive. Ghiyasuddin revels in his ability to not only portray stylised landscapes but also engage with them. His work also offers engagement for the viewer at many levels from the purely aesthetic to the profound. Whilst many will be simply swept away by his depiction of nature and his dexterity, some will ask whether nature is the only protagonist here. Where does the human race stand in this dialogue? Some will observe that human interaction with nature, through the periods of calm, infinite beauty and fury, brings about yet another juxtaposition in Ghiyasuddin’s work; that of almighty nature versus the indomitable human spirit. Indeed, the artist’s work appears to be as much a celebration of the human spirit as it is about nature’s power.
Leading Image : After the Storm . Oil on Canvas . 127 x 127 cm . 2014
bengal gallery of fine arts, dhaka18 april – 26 may, 2015 photos: bks inan and mizanur rahman khoka Kazi exhibit at Ghiyasuddin’s the Bengal Gallery ‘Notation. Reconstructed Arts Exhibit at the Bengal gallery of fine arts in Dhaka is a journey of abstract expression replete with dichotomies. Juxtapositions abound in the artist’s ode to nature…