Bounty of beauty in Malay Bala's paintings
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's saga “Shakuntala”, (originally translated from poet Kalidas' epic drama “Abhigyan Shakuntalam”) narrates the soliloquy of Hero Dushmanta elaborating Shakuntala's beauty. The reading of the text would charm Malay Bala while he was an intermediate student.
A solo oriental painting exhibition titled “Reunion of Shakuntala” by Dr. Malay Bala, Associate Professor and Chairman of the Department of Oriental Art, is now on at Zainul Gallery, Faculty of Fine Art (FFA), University of Dhaka (DU). Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique, Vice Chancellor of DU, inaugurated the art show on November 16. Eminent artist Samarjit Roy Choudhury, among others, was present as special guests while Professor Nisar Hossain, Dean, FFA, DU presided over the programme.
Keeping up the originality, nature and tradition and upholding the six canons of Indian Art, Malay Bala has completed each of his painting that is evocative of his aesthetic senses, classical compositions and devoted efforts to serenade the saga of Shakuntala.
“I see the reflections of Shakuntala in the women of Ajanta cave paintings, Mughal miniatures, female characters depicted in Neo-Bengal wash paintings or in the feminine grace of eternal Bengal. The multifaceted beauty of Shakuntala appears many times in my Shakuntala series. 'Reunion of Shakuntala' represents the diverse facets and aspects of Shakuntala,” said Malay Bala.
Following the Neo-Bengal watercolour wash technique, the artist has mingled the beauty of Shakuntala with natural grace like banyan roots intertwined with the tree and barks. Intertwined in the roots and barks of trees in the paintings, images of a dancing Shakuntala, Shakuntala busy conversing with her friends, Shakuntala adoring a fawn, Shakuntala deeply in love with Dushmanta, Shakuntala in twilight glow, Shakuntala immersing in moonbeam, Classical fiesta in Tapaban and other series works on watercolour, acrylic and oil. Some of his recent works evoke abstract imagery, delineating lyrical rhythm and vibrant colours.
The aspiration for unifying the co-existence between nature and human beings in an urbanised life drives the artist to depict such compositions time and again. The prime objective of these paintings is to provide pure joy to both eyes and mind in the midst of daily life's restlessness.
“In my paintings, I envision all the women of the society singly in light of Shakuntala's graceful forms and everlasting grace. The beauty of watercolour wash is even reflected on my oil or acrylic painting. The real aesthetic appeal lies in the visual forms of my paintings that claim evaluation from art exponents, connoisseurs and lovers,” added the artist.
Grontho Kutir, Hamid Fabrics Limited, CSDC and Oriental Painting Study Group assisted in the exhibition that is open daily from 10am to 8pm, till November 22.