An Indigenous Minimalist

Art should be the epitome of purity- nurturing this thought in his heart, Hamiduzzaman Khan continues to work. He dares ignore an established axiom. Similitude, for him has no real appeal, he replaces it with solid forms, which interpret his concept.

The Department of Sculpture and Modeling was established back in the 1960’s in Dhaka Art College, presently known as the Institute of Fine Arts, Dhaka University. But before the inception of this Department, Novera Ahmed, the first modern sculptor of the country propagated the theory of contemporary sculpture. In spite of that, our sculptors continued to emulate rigid European academic ideals.

It is the general tendency of common spectators to look for familiar images and forms in art- any digression is rather shocking for them. Regardless of the fact that art lovers feel little satisfied with representations of non-subjective geometric forms, Hamid has acquired a fondness for the same. His love for such forms of art may be attributed to his exposure to the Minimalist movement. “I want to say that I do not want to say anything”such a creed of Minimalism captured his creative faculty. Hamid does not want to look beyond the visual, no deeper meaning underlies what can be seen with our eyes. He is strongly inclined to show the matter of the matter. Though he creates impersonal and geometric objects, he nourishes in himself a feel for the “material” that he works with. For him, in fact, mere matter is what matters.

It needs a straight line to curve to create a form and hint at a story or a drama being unfolded in space. Earlier, Hamid’s forms were full of stories. Then, the memories that weighed heavily on the sculptor transformed them to curving, distorted assemblage of metals. The phenomenally shattered features of different objects in the war-ridden 1971 inspired him to embrace the complexity of assemblage and curving. It is in fact, the experience of witnessing the horrors of the liberation war that unleashed a new Hamiduzzaman- one freed from the shackles of academics. But why, someone like him who found a new language through experiencing war and who settled for a figurative language of his own, would embark on a journey into the void, in the forms and shapes of an impersonal world? Whenever he is asked such a question, he answers, “I look for purity, clarity and sanctity of forms. I want to show ‘a sheet of metal’ as ‘a sheet of metal’.” And by such answers it becomes evident that he wants to undergo a shift from the tumult of the war into pacified tranquility. The pure forms that he seeks, therefore, works wonders for him- they provide him with invaluable solace.

Enter your keyword