Imtiaj Shohag with wax and pigment for show in France

Cultural Correspondent
Wednesday, July 12th, 2017


 

Fluide Gallery of the Château de Chémery (Région Centre-Val de Loire), France has organised a duet art exhibition titled “SI LOIN SI PROCHE”, featuring the works of famed painters Imtiaj Shohag and Camille Fontaine. The exhibition was inaugurated on July 1 and will continue till October 30.

 

SI LOIN SI PROCHE is an exhibition of paintings and drawings ranging from flower to landscape, from the banks of the Loire to the Sundarbans (the largest mangrove forest in the world in India and Bangladesh).

 

A pink river borders orchids that seem to dissolve. Stunted trees, blood-red gladioli, the sparkling of a pale yellow pond or a rough sea represent geographical sequences of landscapes, botanical elements and environmental moments. For the first joint exhibition, Camille Fontaine and Imtiaj Shohag, both painters at the crossroads, invest the horizon or operate nature in close-up, inviting the viewer to contemplation, questioning and sensations.

 

While Camille Fontaine brushes the surface with large oil brushes or flattened acrylics until it gives a generic dimension to the subject, Imtiaj Shohag paints with encaustic (special technique of hot wax and pigment) and then melts or even cracks the pattern with heat, introducing a temporality in the painting.

 

Through these inflicted treatments- landscape and nature- both eternal subjects of painting, become the fleeting witnesses of a world sometimes dreamed immutable but in reality in perpetual change, made of disappearances and rebirths, passages and transformations.

 

Camille Fontaine and Imtiaj Shohag are both graduates of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Decoratifs de Paris (ENSAD).

 

Bangladeshi expatriate painter Imtiaj Shohag has been working with quiet determination to make it in the Paris art circuit. Shohag has developed styles that are mainly technique-based. The painter works in encaustic medium, which uses heated wax and coloured pigments are added to that. The paste is then applied to a surface, like wood or canvas. In older times, this medium gained much popularity among the experimental painters for its promptness and its quick application process. The medium has seen resurgence in popularity since the 1990s.

 

Shohag constructs an image and then he deconstructs it, only to recreate it. Well-drawn figures, objects and meticulously created textures make most of his images memorable. His works often highlight natural disasters, and painful man-made adversities. He is particularly concerned about the chaotic aspects of calamities — flood, cyclone, global warming and pollution. Suffering of flood-affected people, broken ships, irrigation, pitchers, the effects of tremor, road accidents and many more imageries realistically appear in his paintings. It is obvious that his mode of expression has a great similarity to narrative paintings where one gets a familiar story of his or her surroundings.

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