A Refreshing Approach: Highlighting Rickshaw Art

Takir Hossain
Thursday, February 1st, 2018


Rokon-Uz-Zaman Sohel’s solo show at Zainul Gallery-1


Creative and artistic designs were used in wooden doors, rectilinear door frames, rectangular and vertical patterns, windows, home decoration, furniture and more. Birds, animal forms, foliage and different parts of nature were used on the timber in the past. The tradition had been on the wane for some time and by now it has become quite hard to find the existence of such craftsmen. It is widely known that woodcarving is a time consuming and labour intensive work.


It is significant that there was no strong theme in customary woodcarving before in our country. Since the ‘90s, the panoramic beauty of rural Bengal and young couples became significantly noticeable in woodcarving. The woodcarvers raced to the contest of the painters, who work in two dimensions. Nowadays, woodcarvings have taken a prestigious place beside paintings. Woodcarvings also decorate doors and walls in a very artistic way. Art galleries and art shops have successfully made an impact on collectors’ tastes with their collection of woodcarvings. Against a background of such reality, Rokon-Uz-Zaman Sohel has practiced this medium. His wood carvings are a testimony to the fact that even after the trees have died, there is a possibility of the renewal of life.


Sohel gives an artistic life to his creation. Observing trees, the artist easily comprehends how the branches can be used through his works. The texture of wood creates an eye-catching quality. His works replete with semi-urban people, birds, beads, peacocks, blossoming flowers and foliage, speak of rural and pastoral Bengal. Human forms are often merged with urban and semi-urban setting.


It is very important that the artist has been greatly influenced by rickshaw painting. Rickshaw painting is one of the indigenous forms of art that is unique to this region. His lines are influenced by folk culture, but he has a distinct style of his own unlike other traditional craftsman. Sohel’s subjects range from movie stars to depictions of village life and colourful cityscapes to pictorial interpretations of social issues to flora, fauna and animals.


Sohel’s solo art exhibition titled Journey by Rickshaw-2 is now on at Zainul Gallery-1, Faculty of Fine Arts (FFA), University of Dhaka.

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