Iqbal’s move with art towards a genuine world

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Solo show at Courtyard in Dhanmondi

French philosopher Michel Foucault once described sex as bodies and pleasure. Art might be described as minds and pleasure, but it is a pleasure sustained and developed by reflection, by thinking into the otherness of the visual.

Likewise Mohammad Iqbal also provides a pleasing look through his art and at the same time his works are narrative-based in the sense of his making of the protagonists of his canvas. Narrative art is particularly a genre of art that tells a complete story, either as a moment in an ongoing story or as a sequence of events unfolding over time. This forms the first basic characteristic of his art.

Second comes, Iqbal’s social and political consciousness in which his thinking process is very lucid and coherent. He is very much concerned about the turmoil of world politics where even an innocent child gets bluntly affected. In recent years, Iqbal’s pet subject has become children, whom he regards as neglected and mistreated. The artist has developed a fondness for children. When the artist was a student of PhD of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Hiroshima City University from 2003 to 2005, he first concentrated on the subject. Afterwards when he completed his PhD from the Tokyo University of The Arts in 2010, he further extended his skills in the subject and he still constantly explores the varied facets of the theme. The artist has portrayed many faces of children in approximately the same disposition. Through the oval shaped faces, the artist seeks to convey the innocent and unaltered dreams and yearnings of children. Their eyes are the predominant aspects of these paintings. The eyes express surprise, pain, longing, puzzlement and panic. The artist feels all children look the same and their desires and expressions are also similar.

Thirdly, Iqbal has a great respect to Bauls, a group of mystic minstrels of the country. Many of his characters on canvas are usually saint, spiritualist, exploited people and mystics. Iqbal emerged in the country’s art scene in the 1990s chiefly with this potent philosophical theme. The artist feels Bauls can often be identified by their philosophical views, distinctive clothes and musical instruments. Not much is known of their origin, though.

At the exhibition, some of his paintings clearly highlight pure compositions that convey his fondness for translucent lines and tiny forms. Lines play a significant role in many of his paintings particularly in such kind of paintings. The light and shade superbly convey the seasons of the country but very emblematically.  Some of other motifs in his paintings are ancient edifices, rivers, vessels, hills and sky. From these latter themes it can easily be said that Iqbal has tried to depict universal nature in his works.

The exhibition will continue till May 5.

  • DhakaCourier
  • Vol 34
  • Issue 43

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