painting

Shulekha Chaudhury, Balance-9

Shulekha Chaudhury

DHAKA, BANGLADESH

 
 

About Shulekha Chaudhury

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Born: 1972

Education: 1st Class, M.F.A. Drawing and Painting

Institute of Fine Arts, Dhaka University

 

WORKS BY Shulekha Chaudhury

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Balance-9

Painting: Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 30 H x 30 W

My Time-17   This painting tells the story of a woman braving numerous odds. The path of a woman is replete with hindrances as sharp as the edges of blades. In our society, a woman has to wade through pitch-black waters (time). She has crossed a long distance towards the light, but even longer way lies ahead.

My Time-17

This painting tells the story of a woman braving numerous odds. The path of a woman is replete with hindrances as sharp as the edges of blades. In our society, a woman has to wade through pitch-black waters (time). She has crossed a long distance towards the light, but even longer way lies ahead.

My Time-5   This painting mirrors our present day situation where we find ourselves nothing more than balls in a snooker table. There are behind-the-scenes players who set the board and they are too powerful to detect or deter. We are part of this huge game they are playing at their whims. I have painted the snooker table in yellow to suggest the dismal face of our present age. This patch of yellow is surrounded by a mysterious twilight zone.

My Time-5

This painting mirrors our present day situation where we find ourselves nothing more than balls in a snooker table. There are behind-the-scenes players who set the board and they are too powerful to detect or deter. We are part of this huge game they are playing at their whims. I have painted the snooker table in yellow to suggest the dismal face of our present age. This patch of yellow is surrounded by a mysterious twilight zone.

Fraction-11   In this painting, women are depicted as suspended inanimate objects. With no identity of her own, even the control over her own self is denied. So she remains a cliffhanger all through her life.

Fraction-11

In this painting, women are depicted as suspended inanimate objects. With no identity of her own, even the control over her own self is denied. So she remains a cliffhanger all through her life.

Fraction-12   This mix-media painting is dominated by a yellow color that is used to symbolize the withered time. In this painting, there is a weary girl in a reclining position. Above this figure are clothes, hangers, knives, brushes, spades, spoons, etc. suspended from horizontal ropes. A parallel could be drawn between the suspended utensils and the social status of the woman figure below. She is rather treated as an inanimate object in our society and the legacy of this outlook still carries.

Fraction-12

This mix-media painting is dominated by a yellow color that is used to symbolize the withered time. In this painting, there is a weary girl in a reclining position. Above this figure are clothes, hangers, knives, brushes, spades, spoons, etc. suspended from horizontal ropes. A parallel could be drawn between the suspended utensils and the social status of the woman figure below. She is rather treated as an inanimate object in our society and the legacy of this outlook still carries.

Hurmati   Hurmati is a character figured in ‘Sangsaptak’ - a celebrated Bangla novel. Hurmati epitomizes the repressed women in our society. In the novel, she receives the burnt of a red-hot metal coin in her forehead as a punishment delivered to her for becoming a ‘virgin’ mother. It is interesting to see that the woman alone was chosen to receive the punishment for a bilateral ‘crime’. It is the women who bear the burnt leaving traces in the forehead.

Hurmati

Hurmati is a character figured in ‘Sangsaptak’ - a celebrated Bangla novel. Hurmati epitomizes the repressed women in our society. In the novel, she receives the burnt of a red-hot metal coin in her forehead as a punishment delivered to her for becoming a ‘virgin’ mother. It is interesting to see that the woman alone was chosen to receive the punishment for a bilateral ‘crime’. It is the women who bear the burnt leaving traces in the forehead.

Balance-11   Despite the apparent satisfactory and congenial social status of women they still are engulfed in subjugation and dependence. Beneath their present strong socio-political stance, there still looms a reality where they are nothing more than a decorated flower in a vase or the apples on a dining table. Unlike her male fellows, she is vulnerable to fall from the cradle, which can occur anytime with the loosening of the ropes.

Balance-11

Despite the apparent satisfactory and congenial social status of women they still are engulfed in subjugation and dependence. Beneath their present strong socio-political stance, there still looms a reality where they are nothing more than a decorated flower in a vase or the apples on a dining table. Unlike her male fellows, she is vulnerable to fall from the cradle, which can occur anytime with the loosening of the ropes.

Status(!)-3   There are two classes of people in our society. The wealthy class covers themselves with the long garments of opulence. The deprived often tear those garments down to know the annals of the opulence and the source of inequality only to have partial success. The greater part always remains unexposed.

Status(!)-3

There are two classes of people in our society. The wealthy class covers themselves with the long garments of opulence. The deprived often tear those garments down to know the annals of the opulence and the source of inequality only to have partial success. The greater part always remains unexposed.

Fraction-4   Chairs, used as emblems of power, find recurring presence in my paintings. Despite the frequent shifts in power politics, there is a bit of tranquility over the unequal status of women. Their fate remains the same. Women still languish beneath the shadows of patriarchal apparatus of the society. In such shadows, human beings slough their male skin.

Fraction-4

Chairs, used as emblems of power, find recurring presence in my paintings. Despite the frequent shifts in power politics, there is a bit of tranquility over the unequal status of women. Their fate remains the same. Women still languish beneath the shadows of patriarchal apparatus of the society. In such shadows, human beings slough their male skin.

Status(!)-4   The perpendicular perspective of this picture reveals its message. I have tried to depict the prevailing social disparities using compositions in an upper and lower plane. This is a social order where the innocent ‘have-nots’ are oppressed by the sheer opulence and luxuries of the ‘haves’. Nevertheless, it is the humankind that can afford to make everything humane.

Status(!)-4

The perpendicular perspective of this picture reveals its message. I have tried to depict the prevailing social disparities using compositions in an upper and lower plane. This is a social order where the innocent ‘have-nots’ are oppressed by the sheer opulence and luxuries of the ‘haves’. Nevertheless, it is the humankind that can afford to make everything humane.

The Hunting   Man is the most cherished game for hunting. A section of people is using the helplessness of the other as weapons to hunt them down. The helpless themselves also fall prey to the traps of greed. They succumb to the worldly temptations.

The Hunting

Man is the most cherished game for hunting. A section of people is using the helplessness of the other as weapons to hunt them down. The helpless themselves also fall prey to the traps of greed. They succumb to the worldly temptations.

Fruit Worms   In this painting, the fruit worms symbolize the greedy guys who are eating away our society, culture, and heritage. These lusty people are gulping the apple, our society. Nevertheless, there are honest and innocent masses, who exert their energy to create beauty out of everything around them. They are pushing our society forward.

Fruit Worms

In this painting, the fruit worms symbolize the greedy guys who are eating away our society, culture, and heritage. These lusty people are gulping the apple, our society. Nevertheless, there are honest and innocent masses, who exert their energy to create beauty out of everything around them. They are pushing our society forward.

Loneliness   Quite a good number of women still are confined inside the domestic walls. She is entrapped by the trifle rituals of the family. Beyond her home-maker entity, she finds no identity of her own. The family becomes confinement for her. With the loss of identity she becomes extremely lonely only to be accompanied by the room furniture and the mirage of the decrepit light.

Loneliness

Quite a good number of women still are confined inside the domestic walls. She is entrapped by the trifle rituals of the family. Beyond her home-maker entity, she finds no identity of her own. The family becomes confinement for her. With the loss of identity she becomes extremely lonely only to be accompanied by the room furniture and the mirage of the decrepit light.

My Time-16   In this painting, I have tried to reveal a politician of these days. He has adopted the attire of a religious monk just for the sake of political expediency. In public rallies, he proclaims flowery religious rhetoric while in reality, he nourishes age-old rituals like filthy cockroaches.

My Time-16

In this painting, I have tried to reveal a politician of these days. He has adopted the attire of a religious monk just for the sake of political expediency. In public rallies, he proclaims flowery religious rhetoric while in reality, he nourishes age-old rituals like filthy cockroaches.

My Time-15   This painting borrows its symbols from the present political situation of Bangladesh. The three figures (a day laborer, a woman, and an urban middle class) represent three different sections of the mass. The tragedy they share is that their hands are tied so that they cannot do what they are supposed to. They are made helpless before the tyranny of the oppressors. Nevertheless, the spirit of the people here is free. So the three captives keep dreaming for a better future for the generations to come. They smell the scent of the soil, they long for the end of darkness. These are their dreams no tyrant can stop them from dreaming.

My Time-15

This painting borrows its symbols from the present political situation of Bangladesh. The three figures (a day laborer, a woman, and an urban middle class) represent three different sections of the mass. The tragedy they share is that their hands are tied so that they cannot do what they are supposed to. They are made helpless before the tyranny of the oppressors. Nevertheless, the spirit of the people here is free. So the three captives keep dreaming for a better future for the generations to come. They smell the scent of the soil, they long for the end of darkness. These are their dreams no tyrant can stop them from dreaming.

The Firefly   This painting reveals the dreams of the women they keep on dreaming despite the onslaught of the wheel of social edicts. Defying the continuous attacks on her she keeps her pleasant light burning like a firefly.

The Firefly

This painting reveals the dreams of the women they keep on dreaming despite the onslaught of the wheel of social edicts. Defying the continuous attacks on her she keeps her pleasant light burning like a firefly.

Light, a few roachmen and women   The cockroaches are known to have survived the ages without a mutation. Likewise, there are superstitions, rituals, and politics, concerning the treatment of women in a society that has defied the onslaught of age to remain unaltered to this day. Despite the enlightenment of women, the superstitions persist as immutable as cockroaches.

Light, a few roachmen and women

The cockroaches are known to have survived the ages without a mutation. Likewise, there are superstitions, rituals, and politics, concerning the treatment of women in a society that has defied the onslaught of age to remain unaltered to this day. Despite the enlightenment of women, the superstitions persist as immutable as cockroaches.

Status-6   This painting reveals the dissimilar worlds of two women belonging to two different classes. One remains confined inside the ‘purdah’, while the other is enlightened and fearless in winning away her deserved position in the society. The latter one knows the use of knives in protecting her from the social ills while the former long the life of the enlightened one. Whether she succeeds is anybody’s guess.

Status-6

This painting reveals the dissimilar worlds of two women belonging to two different classes. One remains confined inside the ‘purdah’, while the other is enlightened and fearless in winning away her deserved position in the society. The latter one knows the use of knives in protecting her from the social ills while the former long the life of the enlightened one. Whether she succeeds is anybody’s guess.

A Millionaire Crow   This painting is a blend of political satire and folk tales. Painted in rikshaw-painting style it shows a flock of crows flying in circles above the roofs of the National Assembly building. This ominous incident suggests the mayhem that currently is ruling over the realpolitik. In the painting, there is a brisk business of fisheries going on in full swing on the lakes of the assembly premise. In the bank of the lake, there is the famous display of deception being performed by the two characters (i.e. the tiger and the crane) of a famous folk tale. The tale reminds us of the deceits of the disdainful political leaders.

A Millionaire Crow

This painting is a blend of political satire and folk tales. Painted in rikshaw-painting style it shows a flock of crows flying in circles above the roofs of the National Assembly building. This ominous incident suggests the mayhem that currently is ruling over the realpolitik. In the painting, there is a brisk business of fisheries going on in full swing on the lakes of the assembly premise. In the bank of the lake, there is the famous display of deception being performed by the two characters (i.e. the tiger and the crane) of a famous folk tale. The tale reminds us of the deceits of the disdainful political leaders.

Journey by Rickshaw   This is a painting done in collaboration with traditional rikshaw-painters. It is the outcome of a workshop that was participated by rikshaw-painters and contemporary artists. In this particular painting, we have painted the upper half of a rikshaw viewed from behind. Traditional designs decorate the foreground of the space. Inside this design, there are two beasts (a female and a male) of the jungle with the head of human beings. The beasts are trying to panic each other wearing the mask of a human face. This is a satirical depiction of the grotesqueness and cruelty of the human beings surpassing even the ferocious beasts.

Journey by Rickshaw

This is a painting done in collaboration with traditional rikshaw-painters. It is the outcome of a workshop that was participated by rikshaw-painters and contemporary artists. In this particular painting, we have painted the upper half of a rikshaw viewed from behind. Traditional designs decorate the foreground of the space. Inside this design, there are two beasts (a female and a male) of the jungle with the head of human beings. The beasts are trying to panic each other wearing the mask of a human face. This is a satirical depiction of the grotesqueness and cruelty of the human beings surpassing even the ferocious beasts.

The Walkways   The rich heritage of rikshaw-painting is fading away. I have taken up the popular subjects of the tradition (the peacock, the fairy, the tiger, the crocodile, the snake, birds, the portraits of film-stars, etc.) and painted them on rubber-sandals.

The Walkways

The rich heritage of rikshaw-painting is fading away. I have taken up the popular subjects of the tradition (the peacock, the fairy, the tiger, the crocodile, the snake, birds, the portraits of film-stars, etc.) and painted them on rubber-sandals.

Memories of Miabari (Series)   These paintings are the outcome of a three-day workshop conducted at an old crumbling palace of a Jamindar. There we had to come across a lot of tales and fables of the old days when the grandeur and chivalry of the Jaminders were names of the game. The palace still carries the remnants of those ancient lavish lifestyles. I have imagined the relics in a miserable condition, visited daily by rats, cockroaches, and many other nocturnal visitors. This also symbolizes the decadence of the old ideas that have lost relevance.

Memories of Miabari (Series)

These paintings are the outcome of a three-day workshop conducted at an old crumbling palace of a Jamindar. There we had to come across a lot of tales and fables of the old days when the grandeur and chivalry of the Jaminders were names of the game. The palace still carries the remnants of those ancient lavish lifestyles. I have imagined the relics in a miserable condition, visited daily by rats, cockroaches, and many other nocturnal visitors. This also symbolizes the decadence of the old ideas that have lost relevance.