Shakoor depicts rural heritage on paintings

Cultural Correspondent
Friends, acrylic on canvas, on display at Bengal Shilpalaya.

Friends, acrylic on canvas, on display at Bengal Shilpalaya.

Eminent artist Abdus Shakoor Shah has painted the rural life and heritages for a solo exhibition that opened on October 9 at the Bengal Shilpalaya in Dhaka.
The exhibition, Muse of Myths, featured 48 recent artworks that covered a wide range of mediums including acrylic, watercolour, ink on paper, and also assemblage of newspaper cuttings glued with adhesive on the canvases.
Shakoor has also drawn texts from indigenous stories and ballads that appear along with suggestive pictures. The objects and figures draw their inspiration from familiar folk-motifs and tales anthologized in Mymensingh Geetika and Nakshi Kanthar Maath.
The result is an exquisite collection of paintings replete with stuff that legends and fables are made of, with men and women in rural attires and objects, clay toys, birds and animals who lived for centuries side by side with men.
Shakoor’s characters are colourful, with straight features, the men and women from a past and background that even an untrained eye may not have difficulty recognising.
Thus, the urban viewers, no matter how removed they are from the rural background of their country, will not fail to identify and enjoy the essence of its village life and folk art.
One of Shakoor’s colourful works is Village Story, an acrylic painting, depicting faces of men and women. Besides, the painting also includes the profile of a woman with a small bird perched on one of her hands.
Shakoor has depicted Mohua and Nader Chand, the main characters of the folk ballad Mohua, written by Dwija Kanai in the seventeenth century. The acrylic painting depicts a man and a woman as well as a crescent moon on the canvas.
Tradition 4 depicts trees, temples, stars, cattle and flowers all in black colours on a white background. Apart from the black elements, the painting also includes a red circle resembling the sun in the centre of the canvas.
Shakoor’s painting Nakshikantha 2 would remind the viewers of the embroidered quilt or nakshikantha, which is a part of the rich heritage of rural Bangla.
The solo exhibition, Shakoor’s 17th, will remain open for all till October 29.

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