The cave paintings of Altamira, northern Spain are one of the finest examples of Paleolithic art dating back to 35000 to 11000 BC. Inspired by these, Bangladeshi artist Hasan Kobir has created artworks for his first solo exhibition, which highly reflects the aforementioned primitive art.

The inauguration of "The Journey Within", artist Hasan Kobir's first solo exhibition took place at Art Bangla Gallery yesterday. The ceremony was graced by the presence of Anjir Liton, Director General of Bangladesh Shishu Academy as the chief guest, Eminent Art Critic Prof. Moinuddin Khaled and Prof. Dr. Rashid Amin, Department of Fine Art, Jagannath University as special guests. Artist Prof. Shishir Bhattacharjee, Department of Drawing & Painting, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka presided over the occasion. After the cordial speeches by the guests, the exhibition was underway.

Artist Hasan Kobir is an emerging artist and the exhibition contains 33 of his paintings, most of which are conjured with an enriched vocabulary of ancient art. One can dive into the artworks and catch glimpses of ancient societies and their culture. The way of life back then and how it evolved into modern age are all vivid in the paintings. This exhibition is like a prism through which we can witness the revolution of mankind, starting from the Paleolithic age.

For the series "Primitive Reflection –The Roots of Modern Art" (acrylic on canvas), the artist has developed a brilliant narrative of ancient societies, their livelihoods, their weapons, hunting and gathering etc. along with prehistoric animals with simple and basic lines, forms, and shapes. They also hold an important element of evolution–fire, illustrated prominently by the artist.

Being asked about the reason behind choosing his subjects Hasan explained that he had wanted to go back to primitive art to establish a revolutionized modern identity.

Another piece, titled "Into the Pollution" shows how humans have created an environment full of waste materials that can hardly be recycled. There are some abstract paintings too. The most intriguing series is "Desert Island" where fish and reptiles are drawn as humanoids and plants, leading their lives like humans do.

Hasan with pen and water colours has taken a surrealistic approach to the general social issues and events, and portrayed these through those humanoids. This series is the most thought-provoking one I had seen in a while.

In short, the artist's patience, determination, dedication to his imagination and his drawing skills are vividly reflected through his paintings and drawings.

Art Bangla Gallery will run this open for all exhibition till June 15, 2023.


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