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Saturday, August 07, 2004

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Probing into the seams of life
Abhijit's sixth solo

Abhijit Choudhury is into his sixth solo exhibition at the Alliance Francaise. He presents idylls with realism in his semi abstract works. The proceeds of the exhibition will be donated to the flood afflicted. He had been painting at the Kochi Kachar Mela and Shilpakala before he joined the Fine Arts Institute. He had the guidance of Rafiqun Nabi, Abdul Basset and Shishir Bhattacharya. He got the support of his family, in Hobiganj, easily enough as his grandfather was a painter and his aunts were into singing. His wife, Taposhi is also quite supportive.

Abhijit has used vegetable dye with water colour in his paintings. In one of his paintings one finds a seated woman, with a cloth covering her knees. In the background are swirls of blue, grey and brown. In another we find, similarly, a barely clad woman. This too stands for a sex worker who wants to flee her world to escape to something more normal. To the side is a dull grey figure issuing fatwa against the woman. Yet another painting shows a similar woman dreaming of better days, while being confined to her present hard days. The loud colours stand for her unrest while the muted ones represent her hope and dream. Exposed legs and breasts in the next painting bring home the same theme. She does not have a head as the world tends to believe that a sex worker has no thinking ability of her own. A powerful pimp is brought in another painting and the subject is seen before a massive table denoting his power. Abhijit has tried to draw the attention of the viewer to these women as he feels that they are one of the most neglected people in our society, and if they are recognised, they are treated with disdain.

Conflicts in a person's mind is the theme of yet another painting. His water colours have been of such a good quality that they were collected by the National Museum when Abhijit was only in his second year at the Fine Arts Institute.

The theme of the present flood has come into many of his other paintings such as the delineation of the water washed land masses presented in yellow, white and green, presented as an aerial view. Two male figures have been brought on another paper to depict how the people of Bangladesh have been fighting against floods, famines and other natural calamities for over centuries. 'A few handful of rice are doled out and some schools are designated as shelters,' Abhijit says. A boat is brought into another painting to show the important role that a boat plays during the floods in Bangladesh, as a place of refuge, normal transport and ambulance.

As Abhijit plays with light and darkness, he represents hope and despair. He plays with colour with passion but is not carried away, as he delineates human imagination, joy and sorrow.

Abhijit has attended three workshops under David Wilson of Australia, Monirul Islam from Spain, and Mustafa Monwar. He has taken part in over 25 joint exhibitions and has had six solos.

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