In Silence and Sound

Art exhibition by MD MONIRUL ISLAM, curated by MUSTAFA ZAMAN

February 15 to March 6, 2019, Dwip Gallery, 1/1, Block D (g floor), Lalmatia, Dhaka

In Silence and Sound

In the academia, ‘form’ is often pitted against ‘content’, and such a frame of binary opposites takes for granted that the two are eternally irreconcilable. However, after years of practice, artists often wake up to the fact that form and content are related, and there exists a circular relationship between the two.

Md Monirul Islam’s works testifies to such a dynamical relationship between form and content. In his watercolour and mixed media works, things also become more fluid to the effect that in some works the two become interchangeable. 

It is after cueing up his various series for viewing that one realises that the fluidity he cultivates also responsible for diversity. And both fluidity and diversity stem from his desire not to settle for a permanent aesthetic solution, as opposed to the Orientalists and the Occidentalists who usually traverse beaten tracks. 

In the exhibition ‘In Silence and Sound,’ there is this discernible unwillingness to freight things from the loci of settled discourses, or should one say, predetermined identities. Hence, the voice is instrumentalised to try out myriad tunes.

However, one must realise that this exhibition has a retrospective ring to it — works of about fifteen years have been amassed to develop an understanding of the artist’s trajectory which went through many phases. The mutability of form/content is also another aspect that helps get a handle on Monirul’s aesthetic manoeuvring that continues to defy a unitary vision.

Monirul thrives on fragments. He takes pride in variegated inflections that happened over the years while he was trying to forge a language of his own. 

He often draws his inspiration from myriad sources, including linguistic developments he encountered during his student years. His works also draws from natural and built environments, turning them into elemental artistic glyphs through which he organizes the given space.

The phases that he went through, the experimentations that coursed him through many areas of interest, are all here in the form of paintings and drawings, displaying their exemplary astuteness of organizational simplicity and a successful negotiation between the scene (machinic and natural), the signs (of time and eternity). 

–Mustafa Zaman