In tribute to M.F. Hussain – who recently passed away in exile – the Minority Educational and Welfare Society organized an art exhibit by Mohammad Tabrez Alam.
The exhibit was held at the M.F. Hussain Gallery in Jamia on Thursday, July 7, 2011.
Alam is a full-time artist from Bihar, who has a studio in Delhi and Mumbai. Though the exhibit was held at Jamia, Alam has no association with the university.
He also works in the movie industry as a set designer and has worked on big name movies like “Three Idiots” and “Prince.”
Alam, in talking about the purpose of the exhibit said in Urdu, which I translate and paraphrase here: Hussain sahab had created a lot of Islamic art, however, he didn’t “expose” it much in relation to his other work.
The message I wish to send through my work here is simply that Islamic art should be revived and be brought back in a newer form. Back in older times, Islamic art was defined by calligraphy and architectural designs, and what I’m trying to express through my work here is a convergence of the old style of Islamic art and the contemporary modern art, giving birth to a new form of Islamic art.
On asked if his painting were inspired by Hussain’s work, he replied: well not just by Hussain sahab’s work, but also by other artists by whom Hussain sahab himself was inspired by; artists like Paul Gauguin and Van Gogh.
Shams Anwar, a middle-aged visitor at the gallery and a resident of Jamia Nagar, admiring the art said: These are lovely paintings and what I like about them is that I sense something new in them.
Then pointing to the painting with a horse in it, which incidentally was the only painting which was inspired from an actual painting by M.F. Hussain, he said: this is my favorite one here.
However, in contrast to Anwar, Vikram Kumar, a Jamia student from the Department of Education, said: Most of the paintings I see here, simply have Urdu or Arabic letters painted on them, and in my opinion, if you’re representing Islamic art, or art of any religion, then paintings should depict its culture and society. You cannot just paint letters and call it art. Art is more than that.
M.F. Hussain’s son, Shamshad Hussain was also present, however, he left before JJ could get a chance to talk to him.
[Note: For those interested in Alam’s art, he can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Scenes From the Event
*click on a picture to enlarge.