Self Depiction | ‘স্ব-চিত্রন’

Kala Kendra, an art space run by artists, presents artist Afrida Tanzim Mahi’s solo art exhibition titled, Self Depiction / ‘স্ব-চিত্রন’ on the occasion of her 23rd birthday. The exhibition is curated by artist Wakilur Rahman. The solo art exhibition is hosted online @Artitude –

Poet Samseth Tabreji and poet Faruk Wasif have graced the inaugural ceremony as the special guests.

Artist Statement

I started painting on bed sheets and walls, my subjects being irregular shapes and strokes of excitement. Colors kept me preoccupied for hours when everything else became bland. On the plains of hopelessness painting is my only medium of expression. Blue meaning melancholy and red being angry, I painted nothing with every color on the spectrum. 

I paint because it is the only activity I don’t have to force myself into. Art overwhelms me and I find myself lost in a trance guided by fleeting emotions and thoughts over which I have no control.

Anything and everything can drive me to the small corner of my room which I claim as my studio. All my colors stacked on a shoebox beside a row of empty canvases waiting to be destroyed, or preserved. My art is the only proof of my existence; they portray me; every told and untold story.

If asked why I chose to do a solo exhibition at this point; I can only say that it is to make peace with the past. I have been in-hiding from myself and the world. I need to see it, show it and finally let it go. I am not comfortable in front of my work. They remind me of events I would like to forget however the irony is I am the one who makes them immortal. I may forget the event but I can’t erase the image of my paintings.

My paintings tell the story of whatever happened on the day I painted the piece. A series depicts a phase I passed though. I may have painted the series overnight or over months and this determines the length of the episode. My perception of time is blurred but I’m glad I still remember the alphabets.

Self-portraits happen when I have nothing else to draw or no-one to talk to. It’s mostly the second reason. My inability to explain myself results in the creation of self-portraits. My desperate attempt to communicate.

Sometimes I shout at the wrong person, sometimes I become hysterical, but mostly I paint. I paint when there is something I have to say but there is no one to talk to. Even if there is, the person will not understand because I fail to find the words, but I can paint it for you. You will see that I neither I nor my paintings are unworldly, but we are the simple momentary emotions spawned by nature and present in every breathing soul.