Eminent Japan-based Bangladeshi artist Kazi Ghiyasuddin is to be bestowed with the Order of the Rising Sun (Gold and Silver Rays) today at the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka. He has been awarded with this rare honour for his contributions to promote cultural exchange through development of modern art in Japan and Bangladesh. He is also the first student to complete a PhD from the prestigious Tokyo University of Arts and Music.
“I came to comprehend the significance of the award when Japanese prominent national dailies wrote highly of me,” says Kazi Ghiyasuddin. He was congratulated by renowned artists, personalities, institutions, organisations and galleries. “The Emperor, who is a God-like figure to the Japanese has recognised me.” says the artist proudly. Ghiyasuddin is the only artist in this region of the world to receive the award. He had the option to receive the award from the Japanese emperor; but the ever-patriotic artist chose to receive it in his motherland.
The music of nature in its infinite splendour is a constant inspiration for the master painter, who captures nature's underlying harmony of colours in his arts. An illustrious career spanning over five decades; Kazi Ghiyasuddin continues to influence numerous artists of Japan and Bangladesh. His watercolour evokes the feelings of poetry while his oil delineates the magnanimity of an epic. He adeptly blends the style and taste of the East and the West to create lyrical compositions. What is distinctive in his art is the technique and treatment of colour and deconstruction of forms.
He completes each watercolour in the 'dry method', applying colour layer by layer with importantly keeping paper white to generate depth. His treatment of oil colours glows like the rays of serene beauty. “Painting is my passion and profession, with which I never compromised. I paint to delight myself,” says the master painter. “I want to put together image after image to create an orchestra. Sometimes a cloudy sky looks up with a flash of bright sunlight. The midday sunshine makes the woods on the riverbank look greener. At dusk that turns more violet or dark green,” he explains. Ghiyasuddin has four rare art book publications and 78 solo exhibitions to his credit. “Engaging one's heart is prerequisite to become a creator. My art is not abstract; it is realistic. I expressed realism in my own way,” he says.
Along with Pablo Picasso and others, Kazi Ghiyasuddin's life sketch and paintings have been included in the textbook of the history of modern painting chapter in middle school in Japan. “It is interesting to note that it was included in the year when my daughter got admitted to the middle school,” says Kazi Ghiyasuddin, who desires to turn his vast studio in Savar into a modern art museum. His daughter Maya is also a famous fashion designer and writer in Japan.
His artworks are in the collection of many art museums and galleries. Asian Art Museum has collected many of his paintings. The artist is now doing life-size oil paintings for displaying in his solo show to be held at Bengal Foundation's newly furnished gallery in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.