Firoz Mahmud - Resonating history through art | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 27, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 27, 2018

Firoz Mahmud - Resonating history through art

After his exhibition at the first Bangkok Art Biennial, the New York based Bangladeshi artist Firoz Mahmud is back in the country with his solo exhibition titled Reverberation (Ouponibeshik/ Porouponibeshik) which will be inaugurated today at Abinta Gallery of Fine Arts. The exhibition will run until November 10. In a conversation with The Daily Star, Firoz Mahmud shared information about his upcoming exhibition.

Born in Khulna, the artist has always been in a prolonged journey of exploration through history, narratives, myth, and belief with his art. His styles include stencil techniques, oil painting on asymmetrical shaped canvases and large-scale Layapa Stencil paintings on paper and drawings. Through his work he tends to reanimate Bengal's historical past.

For the art enthusiasts, his works project a lyrical storytelling. The traditional fables come to life through the use of vivid colours and abstract geometric formations. The artworks resonate not only the history but also the present socio-political sphere on a flat surface. The repetitive use of idioms of back stories —such as old palace, spice trees, forts, tigers and owls add elements to unfold the historical triumphs. He also revived historical figures from the British Raj-era, 1905's Partition of Bengal, East Pakistan Era and an independent Bangladesh with his own signature style. Mamhud says that he takes inspiration from narrative stencil painting created on doorway of clay hut and Japanese Ukiyo-e (woodblock print). Green is a predominant colour in most of his art work. He says, “Green is symbol of ecology. The colour also reminds me of my country and keeps me close to it.”

His artworks have been exhibited at a number of international art Biennale and Triennial exhibitions including 1st Bangkok Art Biennale, 1st Lahore Biennial, Dhaka Art Summit, Setouchi Triennial (BDP), 1st Aichi Triennial, Sharjah Biennale, Busan Biennale, Asian Art Biennale, Cairo Biennale and Echigo-Tsumari Triennial in Japan. He bagged awards like Queens Council on Arts and Asian Cultural Council in New York; Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art; Monbukagakusho Japan Government and Dutch government Scholarship; Royal Over-seas League, UK; Arts Networks Asia Singapore; Deelnashin Khanam Gold Medal of Dhaka University and many more.

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