In the Duke Gallery: Mashiul Chowdhury
Sept 9 - Oct 13
I am constantly inspired, perplexed, curious, amused, and awed by the elements and stories of things most of us see-and ignore-every day. The activities of human life leave traces on various surfaces-sometimes intentionally, sometimes inadvertently-but rarely does anyone realize that such markings contain within them an abstract language that can be rich and compelling. They are remnants of love, of pain, of disgust, of disorder or social or political tensions.
I find such images on walls, dumpsters, sidewalks, rusty pipes, subways- just about anywhere in the urban landscape-and use digital photography to give them another life.
My work is inspired by the natural world. Art has the power to make one see things in a new perspective. It allows us to develop a love for places and things that we would otherwise not have noticed, or thought of as ugly or boring. I do not recreate landscape on my canvas. I rather try to express its essence in abstract language. I work on a many different medias, rooted in a subtle exploration of humanity’s complex relationship with urban life and landscape. Most of my work uses color and texture as the driving force to evoke and explore the feeling being defined.
My experiences living in crowded but vibrant cities have enabled my consciousness to a greater sensitivity of feelings. An artist must see and feel and understand as opposed to those who merely glimpse but do not really see. The greatest role of the artist is to create this sense of curiosity and wonder in the viewer and inspire them to continuously inquire, explore, enjoy and appreciate the world around us. Perhaps this sense of wonder will expand beyond the visual world and enrich the life of the viewer more broadly. I think I draw mostly from my intimate experience with the urban landscape. Cities fascinate me. I grew up with a deep bond with my hometown Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. After several decades in the US, Philadelphia has taken its place, and continues to fascinate and charm me with its complex visual realities shaped by the diverse influence of its inhabitants. For all its messiness, its bewildering mix of images, colors and overlap, cities convey to me a visual symphony.
Multiple layers, the process of continuous change and decay and rejuvenation, all of this creates a tapestry, a visual language that is unique and utterly fascinating. Just like the city that cannot tell you where change will lead it – I do not have a preconceived idea of my work of art.
Mashiul is offering a workshop in conjunction with his exhibition which will happen in the Duke Gallery amongst his work! <click here> for more information and to register.