While the timing of ‘Union of Uniqueness’, a joint exhibition of two artists from two different countries, Javed Jalil from Bangladesh and Avijit Mukherjee from India, as well as the presence of the all too familiar Pinak Ranjan Chakraborty, the Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh on both the occasions, would allude to a relationship between it and the resumption of the Indo-Bangla train service, the Maitree Express, only a week earlier- it is anything but that.
One look at the work on display at the exhibition reminds us that art has always transcended man-made national boundaries, that it reaches to universal human emotions through the language of an artist’s personal journey, and perhaps, while those with a passion for politics and zealous patriotism would disagree, art has always travelled faster than the cumbersome journey made by nation states.
Both Javed Jalil and Avijit Mukherjee tell stories that stand true for Bangladeshis, Indians, the subcontinent, and the rest of the world. There are no Farakka Barrages, Maitree Express, border fences, exchange of criminals, BDR or BSF adorning the canvasses. Their language is not Bangladeshi or Indian, but a language constructed by themselves, influenced though it may be, not by nationality but by the history of art and its masters. While the two artists may own two different passports, the works on display claim ownership not to any country but to the kingdom of art.
A fan or connoisseur, however, cannot be rid of the pride of nationalism. And in that spirit, we can safely say, the rather lengthy deliberations on the nature of art are best represented through the works of our very own Javed Jalil. In 35 paintings done on both canvas and paper, Javed deals with a magnanimous range of emotions, but absolutely human in nature, which stands true for every man or woman of every nationality.
If one has witnessed Javed’s work in the past, he or she would know, that a significant part of him and his work is dedicated to the understanding, or in the least gaining perspective, on the complex nature of human relationships. ‘Love on the Cross’, ‘Animalistic Kiss’, ‘Mating Under’, ‘Twice of her love’, ‘Union of Rage’, ‘Nine + Five’, ‘Keys to Love’ all done with ink and a colour wash, deal with the complex predicaments of human relationship, be it man-woman or otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »