Dhaka Courier

A brave experimentalist who pushes viewers to think

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Professor Dr Hira Sobahan was a familiar figure in the Dhaka Art Circuit of the late ‘90s when he worked for the Bangladesh Television. But he regularly exhibited his works at different galleries in the city. In that period he excelled in printmaking and established a personal trademark through his pure abstract and semi-abstract works. He acquired some unique techniques in printmaking in that momentous period. He engaged himself as an experimental printmaker and his themes ranges from nature to the socio-economic and political structure of the country.

From the commencement, Hira has adored the creation of something refreshing and innovative, which is very close to his living place and its surrounding ambiances. As he is an intense onlooker, nature and its varied mysterious chapters, the changing human life, frustrations and despairs of urban and rural life, disadvantaged and deprived people of the society, common people and their way of life have been immensely etched in his softened mind. All these topics are emblematically used in his works. Sometimes in his earlier works, figures were missing and different kinds of forms, varied symbolic allegories; oval, unstructured and vague forms, triangular- rectangular shapes as well as unrefined lines have been imprinted on his works. Geometric structures and architectural views give a new perspective to his works. He has also drawn inspiration from nature and its various manifestations. A number of times, bold and subdued hues, constructed and deconstructed forms have defined the highly abstract works of the artist.

Sobahan Hira’s miniature paintings (mixed media) hit me like waves of power, truth and revelation. He paints times, political and social turmoil metaphorically and also harsh realities of the society. He has an excellent power to minimise the amorphous forms and shapes and has added an aesthetically balanced appearance. His manipulation of forms, scattered muted drawings and cognizant using of colour create a language simultaneously natural and contrived. His palette swings between mellow and bold, strokes between rugged and controlled conjuring up a visual playground for joy and ecstasy. His paintings are of inner and outer space which help the viewers to intuit a complex reality that cannot be put into words. Presently his modes of expression are pure abstraction and abstract expressionism. He frequently changes the arrangement of his forms and compositions as well as the overall structure of his paintings.

Hira Sobahan’s solo exhibition is now on at Alliance Francaise de Dhaka.

  • DhakaCourier
  • Issue 1
  • Takir Hossain
  • Vol 36
  • A brave experimentalist who pushes viewers to think

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