May 25, 2013 | 04:00 AM (BD Time)
25 May, 2013 Saturday
Philosophy of Life
Sheikh Arif Bulbon:
Painter Ruhul Amin Kajol, a brilliant artist of the 70’s in our country, has been living in Denmark since 1986. He earned critical acclaim during the 70’s and 80’s for his innovative and individual style of figurative works. He started his street art called “Traffic Art” in Sweden in 1994 and created a Guinness Record as world’s longest painting in the category of ‘Biggest Street Painting.’
He studied ceramics from 1973 to 1976 and obtained BFA degree from then Institute of Fine Arts (now Faculty of Fine Arts) of Dhaka University in 1982 in Drawing and Painting. He has produced traffic art in 12 different countries of Europe, Asia and USA.
Basically Kajol is a socially aware painter and his themes reflex on various socio-cultural, political and environmental aspects. He has employed various mediums and techniques to express his views on the subject. His works in paintings, drawings and printmaking construe the feelings and perception of a philosopher as well as bear traditional, historical and anthropological dimensions.
In 2003, Kajol received a special honour from the University of Development Alternative (UODA) in Dhaka for his street art depicting the Language Movement of 1952.
His commission works include more than 20 projects in Europe and Bangladesh. Among them, the best known was the ‘Bamboo Sculpture’ project in Denmark and Bangladesh. At present, Kajol is working as an art teacher in an art school in Denmark and is also a freelance artist. Recently Kajol came to Dhaka to display his artworks by an exhibition titled “Philosophy of Life” for the art-lovers. This is a retrospective exhibition and it contains a collection of his works of the last three decades. The two-week exhibition of this Denmark based artist was held at the Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts in the city’s Dhanmondi area.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Professor Emeritus Dr Sirajul Islam Chowdhury. Ambassador of Denmark in Bangladesh Svend Olling was present as chief guest at the inauguration, while noted painter and cartoonist Rafiqun Nabi was also present as special guest on the occasion.
In the exhibition, many portraits were on display in different mediums include ball-pen, sign-pen and oil painting. At the beginning of his career, Kajol had a passion for drawing and believed in experimentation. He closely observes a character, goes into details and makes an attempt to highlight characters’ temperament and disposition.
It is mentionable that in the course of Kajol’s career, he has developed several styles, especially in his drawings and sketches. His nude, semi-nude sketches were very noticeable in the ‘80s.
The artist’s works were on display in the exhibition were divided into some series. In a series of works titled ‘The National Flag,’ Kajol significantly uses green and red the colours of our flag and other colours. In the series, Kajol expresses how the conflict between the conspicuous and the authentic can be both illusory and critical.
In the works titled ‘Poetic Surrealism’, the series is the result of the works the artist produced from 1979 to 1980. The series seems to be time consuming and sketch lines are the predominant aspects in the work. Human figures and varied surrealistic as well as poetic imageries are noticeable feature.
Kajol’s most focused series is ‘Colony’. The artworks were done in oil on canvas format. By this series of works the artist represent the feature of colonialism. Basically this series critically reflect his understanding of colonisation both as a procedure and as a stage in human evolution. In particular, facial expressions and various parts of the human body are his focal point in this series of works.
The series is recognised for its aggressive, bold and horrifying imagery. In the series, Kajol takes a long peep back to the time of early civilisation and portrays how colonies survived in ancient times.
His vision of the world is entirely individual, surrounding images of sensuality and cruelty. Most of his figures are deformed and his artistic fascinations are clearly articulated.
‘Love’, is a thought-provoking series where Kajol explores the disadvantage of human experience. Images of birds, lying nude figure and flower are occupied in contrasting colours and bold strokes.
The canvas is fully occupied with large figures in different dimension and birds in cruel approach. The outlines are strong and colours are in varied layers. n
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