I was first introduced to cerebral artist Mobasshier Mojumder by renowned painter Tajuddin Ahmed at Tivoli Gallery in Gulshan. At first glance, it seemed to me that the artist was purely bohemian and reclusive. Afterwards, we frequently met; I saw his artworks and discussed on his working process and method at his studio-cum-office in Banani. The office was spacious and his paintings (some half-done) were crisscrossed across different rooms.
Mobasshier is a self-taught painter. His umbilical cord with art has seemingly been intact since his childhood. He is simultaneously a non-objective, non-figurative and naturist painter. All of his images pulsate with life provocatively and dramatically. These elements make his paintings seem an authentic part of our surroundings with all our conflicts and achievements. His thought process is seemingly eloquent and has a touch of contemplation.
Mobasshier was born and brought up in a semi-urban milieu in Chandpur. In his childhood, he used bean leaves and seeds of Malabar spinach to draw on paper. During that time, he was not properly acquainted with brush, colour, spatula and ink. It is very natural that as a painter Mobasshier had been greatly influenced by his surrounding ambiance at that period. During that time, his mode of expression was pure realism and the painter went into the details of his subjects. The quiet and serene location tremendously influenced him and he painted tranquil nature, the splendour of the river and the simple people who were really detached from the urban life. Through the artworks, he attempted to create an atmosphere that defined the daily chores of riverine people and villagers.
Mobasshier Mojumder is very courageous and has a strong control over canvas and large-sized papers. He never feels afraid to work with large canvases. To him, a large canvas gives the opportunity to express himself properly. Mobasshier has worked with different mediums and his mode of expression is pure abstract expressionism. Abstract expressionism had been developed by American painters such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning in the 1940s and 1950s. It is often characterised by gestural brush-strokes or mark-making, and the impression of spontaneity.
Mobasshier builds up his lines, forms and compositions in an individual mode. He also recurrently searches the boundaries of expressions with scribbles, lines, arrows, broken lines, loops and curls, squares, semi-oval and other forms. He has meticulously gone through various phases of experimentation with colours, textures, lines, and tones. For him, media is very significant in his mode of expression and he likes to experiment with different mediums. The artist always feels that paintings are an appearance of the thoughts, the inner world and what literally makes the daily life of an artist. His works show the world the way he sees it, and manifest the essence of the things he has seen. His paintings are also mirror of his mind frame. His lines signify the modern mode of expression. Some of his paintings clearly highlight pure composition which conveys his fondness for shadowy lines and tiny forms.
Mobasshier is a secular and socially conscious artist by nature. He always lends his thought for the commoners and portrays their sufferings, pains and agonies. He began his career as an abstract painter. With the passage of time, he has refined himself. Consequently, new lines, forms and different types of objects have been added to his works. His recent works have completely transformed and opened a new window for the viewer. The changes are composition, technique and form-oriented. The forms give a cerebral and contemplative look to his works. His works now are sparser. The use of line and object is minimal; colours are bold and bright. Tonal variations are noticeable at his works and he is continuously exploring the boundaries of expression with the varieties of familiar and unfamiliar forms, primitive motifs as well as numerous indigenous forms.
Mobasshier is a true naturist painter. His keen aptitude is to draw the philosophical aspect of nature, volume and colour and to create sensitive lyrical compositions. His acrylics and oils-both are fresh, contemplative and provide the spectators with a sense of bliss. His artworks are lively and have the right kind of restraint. He knows where to stop. He feels rhythm is the main root of all creations. Nature has its own rhythm and his main focus is to unfold the pulses of nature. Loneliness and quietness are the most important features in the works.
Besides being a good painter, Mobasshier is also a good craftsman, if you may. He has experimented with techniques and materials and brought them to a happy osmosis on paper and canvas. Sometimes it seems he is more conscious about space and forms. The forms lend a contemplative quality to his works. Presently, in his works forms synchronize consciously with colours, spaces and compositions in a somewhat cognitive prefiguration. Mobasshier portrays nature and its mysterious phases through his personal notion, experience and thought process. The abstraction in his works comes naturally as he has adopted a unique language for his own way of expression. His manipulation of forms, scattered drawings and rough brush strokes create a language simultaneously natural and contrived. His palette swings between mellow and bold, strokes between rugged and controlled conjuring up a visual playground for joy and ecstasy.
The writer is an art critic and cultural curator.