Mamoon criticises colonisation with innovative works

Cultural Correspondent | Published: 17:34, Mar 12,2018 | Updated: 21:38, Mar 12,2018


Dhali Al Mamoon attends artists Monirul Islam and Nisar Hossain at Kalakendra.

Renowned artist Dhali Al Mamoon is displaying 27 experimental drawings and a sketch book on the theme of colonial exploitation at Kalakendra on Iqbal Road.

The experimental artist has used mediums like indigo and tea as symbols for colonisation between the late eighteenth and early twentieth century in the then Bengal.

‘I’ve used tints made with indigo and tea, which the European traders during the colonial period imported in India and forced people to cultivate’, said the artist, who has been working on the theme of colonial history and exploitation for a few years now.

‘I have been working on the drawings as part of an inter-disciplinary show on the theme of power, history and colonisation’, said Mamoon, adding that legacies of colonial rule continues strongly even in the mentality of the people today.

The title of the show Drawing and Thinking, Thinking and Drawing 1 is the first edition of a series planned by the gallery to relate thought processes of the artists with their works.

‘We will display artworks of both renowned and up and coming artists under the series,’ said curator of the show Wakilur Rahman, who is also an internationally acclaimed artist.

Eminent artists Monirul Islam and Nisar Hossain inaugurated Mamoon’s show on Saturday and praised Mamoon’s efforts of presenting a comprehensive picture of well-discussed topic with new dimension as a lesson for the budding artists.

Mamoon’s drawing can be divided under three sub-categories like Tahader Agomon, Cha er Neel Kotha, Lost Memories and few individual drawings.

In the four drawings under the series Tahader Agomon, done in indigo and tea on paper, the artist has shown the arrival of colonial power.

For example, in one drawing of the series, the artist shows a British soldier with a rifle in hand setting foot on a farmland, which represents the Bengal.

In the next twelve drawings under the series Cha Er Neel Kotha, also done in indigo and tea on paper, the artist shows the connection between the trades of indigo and tea and sufferings of exploited people.

One of the drawings in Cha Er Neel Kotha series shows colonisers with their guns forcing peasants to produce what they need. Native peasants are shown marginalised and oppressed in other drawings of the series.

Four drawings under the series Lost Memories have been taken from Mamoon’s 2016 exhibition named Time, Coincidence and History.  All four drawings, done with lead and tea on paper, bear the characteristics of the century-old Kalighat works and show animal figures like cat and fish.

There are some other drawings like Doyel Shaplar Drawing, Keetpatanger Ananda and others which do not directly relate to the theme of colonial exploitation.

The exhibition will remain open till March 31.

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