Footprints of Life on the sands of time

An exhibition in Hyderabad showcases an 88-year-old artist’s creations inspired by aspects of life

Published: 10th September 2016 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2016 11:04 AM   |  A+A-

Footprints of Life

The ongoing solo exhibition at Ailamma Art Gallery, Hyderabad, brings forth a series of drawings, prints and paintings by city-based artist Mohammad Yasin. The show—curated by Koeli Mukherjee has works chosen from Yasin’s artistic endeavours in the past six decades—is really a sight to behold.

Talking about his works, the 88-year-old artist says, “Life has always remained an inspiration for me. You can see a reflection of my observations and contemplations of common people and the immediate surroundings in my art forms.”

He has made lithographic prints, pen drawings, paintings, engravings on copper and zinc plates, and compositions created through aquatints, sugar lifting, collographs and dry point.

One of his lithographic prints titled ‘Children at play’ shows rows of children holding hands, and playing. In this, Yasin, who has worked as a lecturer at College of Art and Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, has tried to give a message that we all are created by a single creator to live as one big family regardless of our differences/distinctions. 

Unveiling his fondness for his hometown, the artist says, “Since my journey as an artist began in Hyderabad, it was always my dream to exhibit my works here. Though I have organised shows worldwide, showcasing them here has given me immense pleasure.”

In one of his lithographic prints titled ‘Workers’, he has sensitively carved out a group of construction labourers in the middle of their mundane work. These figures look anonymous and partly camouflaged by the surrounding space, which symbolically depicts their often ignored and overlooked identities.

“As a child I loved to draw on walls. Upon seeing my inclination towards art, one of my teachers encouraged me to pursue drawing. Later, I met Women’s Welfare Committee chairman Tehmina Bai, who after seeing my works, advised me to join JNTU College of Fine Arts,” Yasin says.

He used to walk from his home at Nalabandi to Fine Arts College in Basheerbagh. One day, while going home, he came across a marriage procession. “I was so awestruck by the vivacious spirit and charm of the band players, the decked-up people and the groom that I painted my experience upon reaching home,” he says.

This painting fetched the Lalit Kala Akademi award in the fifth National Art exhibition in 1959.

In another lithograph, he has shown the Empire State Building in New York. On the other hand, the pen and ink drawing, ‘Allah and Aum’, has also been rendered intricately. In this black and white works, he has carved out religious symbols in a single composition.

After retiring from Jamia Millia Islamia, Yasin went to Honolulu to work in a graphic centre. “There I developed love for these varied print-making techniques and created works in them,” he says. The exhibition is on till September 21.

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