Young Are The Least Contaminated

Young Are The Least Contaminated

‘Young are the least contaminated’, said Mr Monirul Islam, a legendary artist in a one-to-one discussion in an Exhibition of Contemporary Art of Bangladesh, also known as ‘Songs of the Land’ on the 2nd of April 2014. A group of famous artists from Bangladesh set up this exhibition at the Ann Harding Conference Centre, University of Canberra.

As I love art in its many forms, I wanted to visit this exhibition, and that I did with the help of my father. I brought along with me my sketch book to show them my drawings and sketches, also hoping to get their autographs.

Once we got to the exhibition, it was around 3:30 pm and was able to meet Monirul Islam, Rafiqun Nabi, Rokeya Sultana, Mohammad Iqbal and Ranjit Das. They all appreciated my artistic drawings and encouraged me, which made me feel superb. Once I requested for their sketches, they happily agreed. Here are some of their sketches that I want to share with you.

When looking at their masterpieces displayed in the exhibition, I was intrigued to learn more about them and their artworks. Knowing that they are very famous and important, I felt a bit nervous to express my intentions. After I controlled my nervousness, I approached them for an interview, which was gladly accepted by Mr Monirul Islam.

As I did not have recorder on hand, I had to improvise, so I borrowed my dad’s smart-phone to record our conversation. Here is a part of our conversation:

Aurpan: I’m very pleased to have seen you fly all the way from Bangladesh to set up this exhibition. May I ask why?

Monirul:This ‘exhibition’ was a long time plan. So we gathered up some Bengali artists and came to Australia to expose our work. Partly to know the Australian art, and also our personal tourism needs, because many other artists have come here, but not me, so I was interested to come here.

Aurpan: Thank you. Now I am wondering what materials you generally use while painting, sketching or drawing?

Monirul: All kinds of materials. Well, you have to know how to use a pencil, but an artist cannot use only one material. I use pencil, charcoal, oil, acrylic, lots of mediums. Lots of artists are inventing new materials for art like digital art. There is a lot of complexity in the art world.

Aurpan: When did you get the interest for art?

Monirul: Oh, probably my childhood, and this is in tuition, so when I was in art collage, where someone was born in a very rural area, they had never seen colours before or brushes, so every individual has their own story. So in my case, I was born in a small village, in a small part of Bangladesh, where I had the urge to draw something without knowing the technique. Finally when art collage came, I learned how to draw and how to make masterpieces.

Aurpan: Great life story, thank you for sharing. So may I know where you get your inspiration from?

Monirul: Oh, the nature. The nature is my inspiration and also the country and home life. The place I live where you have to observe your surroundings. Also happiness, sadness, rivers, sky, all things in the nature.

Aurpan: Final question, what advice do you have for starter sketchers like me?

Monirul: It’s hard to give each individual advice, so when you get older here is the advice I would give you: Draw what you feel. Because you are the least contaminated, meaning you are still young so can draw much better things than us. When you get old, you learn so many new things, you tend to forget old things.

Aurpan: Thank you for you time.

Monirul: Thank you.

The most important message I took away from this interview is ‘young are the least contaminated.’

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