Seeing music in woodblock, with artist Anisuzzaman

Prof. Anisuzzaman conducting the woodblock printing workshop “Musicality in Wood” at Cosmos Atelier71 Printmaking Studio (UNB Photo)

Talented artist Anisuzzaman, Professor of the Department of Printmaking, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka, conducted a five-day woodblock print workshop titled ‘Musicality in Wood’ at Cosmos Atelier71 Printmaking Studio in the capital’s Malibagh from November 23-27.

Eminent artist Monirul Islam, Director of Alliance Française de Dhaka Olivier Dintinger and Gallery Cosmos Director Tehmina Enayet were present as distinguished guests at the inaugural ceremony on November 23.

Sixteen emerging artists from all over the country participated in the workshop: ATM Abid Hasan, Avijit Mondol, Bristy Pathan, Faisal Abir, Faizul Islam, Jeny Das, Ashraful Alam, Fahad Uddin, Ragib Shakil Al Rafi, Saiful Islam, Sruty Kashana, Md Taohidur Rahman, Nabanita Chowdhury, Raju Ahmed, Shahed Hossain and Tahera Tanzim Juthi.

Sourav Chowdhury and Zahangir Alom also participated in the workshop as guest artists.

On the sidelines of the workshop, the eminent professor had a conversation with this correspondent and discussed different aspects and his future plant about this medium of artworks.

Anis concentrated on woodcut printmaking when he was in Japan. During the time, he learned how light and shade can give a dramatic effect on prints. Woodcut prints is about technique as much as about imagination, sometimes more about technique, he feels. After going to Japan, he explored varied aspects of woodcut prints.

“I had conducted the first workshop in 2011 at Cosmos Gallery as Kali Da (Artish Kalidas Karmakar) requested me just after returning home after completing my master’s degree in Japan,” he said.

“I had an opportunity to get higher education in Japan 2008 under Professor Keisei Kobayashi at Tama Art University. Later, I was inspired by the works of Professor Fumiaki Fukita who is the only person using a special technique in Japan on woodcut prints. Although, I have learned the technique to wood crafting from Professor Keisei Kobayashi, I have develop my own way of working as well as selection of subject as my desire.”

“In the 2011 workshop, I demonstrated the attendees how to use multi-block technique for only one colour, Black and White. I used only Black after splitting it into different grade on more than one blocks. Most of the participants of that workshop were just fresh graduates,” the professor recalled.

But this year’s scenario is a bit different, said Anisuzzaman, a talented young printmaker who experiments with various lines and shapes, often depicting architectural designs and structural forms. His horizontal and vertical lines maintain a balance between space and composition.

“Later, this year, Tonu Apa (Gallery Cosmos Director Tehmina Enayet) told me to organise another workshop at the newly renovated Atelier71 Printmaking Studio. I am very happy to be a part of the first workshop at the studio after renovation. This year’s participants are mostly form public and private universities of the country who are studying Printmaking there,” said the professor.

The artist also said, “Tehmina Enayet told me that her main desire behind holding such a workshop is to provide opportunity to the young artists. We have to take the young artists forward, based on this concept she told me to organise the workshop.”

The studio also intends to publish a portfolio with selected artworks of every participant derived from the workshop and after completion of the workshop, an exhibition of artworks of each of the participants will be held in the next year, he added.

During the workshop, the participants also had an opportunity to exchange their artistic views with each other, said the professor adding, “The title of this year’s workshop was decided ‘Musicality in Wood’ as the participants can create theirs artworks with colour and wood in musicality.”

“I personally think the participants had gathered huge knowledge from this workshop. I have found them very happy and satisfied over the workshop.”

The workshop has become a success one just for the heartiest and willing initiative taken by Tehmina Enayet, he said. “She also exchanges views with participates daily while visiting the workshop and inspired them to work more for creating something colourful and positive. We have seen some of the participants worked with flower, some with different colours.”

Nowadays, this medium of art has become very popular among the artists of the country, he further said.

While asked about how the participates will use their experience gathered from the workshop, the prominent artist said, “In our country not much opportunity has been created for the art students except teaching…some of them join different organizations as graphic designers and some of them join some government organizations including Rajdhani Unnayan Kortipakha (Rajuk). If they continue their practice, one day they will be succeeded. They will also gain financially by selling their artworks.”

Through this workshop they will be encouraged, too, he further said.

It is to be mentioned that not only the Cosmos atelier71 Printmaking Studio is working to promote the woodcut works but also some other studious of the country are working to promote this medium of artworks, he added.

“I have been working with this type of artworks for more than 20 years. Before going to Japan, I was usually using single block but, after returning from there, I have started using multi blocks. Now, this medium of art has become much popular among the artists. I must mention the names of several pioneer artists of our country who worked using this technique. They are eminent painter and printmaker Shilpaguru Safiuddin Ahmed and noted artist Prof Rafiqun Nabi, among others.”

Alongside other medium of art I like to work on wood very much, he said. “While I was in Japan, I saw they have a slogan, ‘First you learn and then spread your knowledge’. So I always try to share my gained knowledge with others specially students.”

Cosmos Atelier’71 studio, established in 2009, has made a significant contribution towards printmaking medium more popular. As part of its vision to elevate art, the studio contains state-of-the-art facilities, which are exceptional in Bangladesh. It aims to break new ground by acting as an incubator for the emergence of graphic art in Bangladesh.

  • Seeing music in woodblock, with artist Anisuzzaman
  • Issue 22
  • Reaz Haider
  • Vol 35
  • DhakaCourier

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