Month-long exhibition 'NOOR' by artist and painter Ronni Ahmed recently begun in the capital in both offline gallery and virtual platform.
The exclusive, solo exhibition started on April 14 at Bengal Art Lounge, Gulshan Avenue, marking both the occasions of the first day of Ramadan and Pohela Boishakh 1428.
But the ongoing countrywide lockdown forced the exhibition to go virtual in association with art agency ARTcon.
Showcasing Ahmed's personal and artistic journey toward Sufism, NOOR features 48 paintings and five installations, along with a premiere screening of the film 'Taslima's Garden'.
The works in the exhibition are themed on the mystical and romantic aspects of Sufism, where light and enlightenment are emphasised. An Artificial Intelligence (AI) art project by the artist can also be viewed in a VR tour of his own studio.
"The artworks in the exhibition NOOR are suffused with soft light, and an introspective, calm silence, but they are rooted in our time. Not only do they resonate with the holy month of Ramadan, but they also remind us of divine power and providence, and like Sufis, in times of crisis, to turn both inward and outward in search of the light," the artist says.
Ahmed dreams of a world that is eternal and changing. Over the years of his soulful artistic journey, he focused on shifting his gaze from the seen to the unseen and narrate his findings through language that is soul-centred.
"As an artist who loves to create a world that is eternal and changing, I change my style and view, to move from the seen to the unseen. My language is not mind-centred, rather it is soul-centred. I see things as energy - and energy as something ephemeral. I feel this existence is a long conversation between eternity and self," Ahmed told UNB.
He spent years exploring the Sufi order and found the vocabulary he was looking for in his art. He found the deepest love for the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Allah (SWT) everywhere. According to Ahmed, 'love' is more important than law in his path, and he follows this energy to portray through his paintings.
"I'd like to dedicate the exhibition NOOR to Sultan-ul-Hind Gharib Nawaz Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Ajmeri. Through my work, I want to express the love force from the Holy Quran, the Holy Prophet of Islam, and from Sufi shrines, dervishes, great masters of Sufi lineage, and the love story of the soul's journey from the beginning to end - the secret of Tasawuf," Ahmmed said regarding his solo exhibition.
"NOOR can be viewed at artcon.com.bd/vr/ronni in an immersive 3D Virtual Reality Tour with cutting-edge technology presented by ARTcon.
Ronni Ahmed's studio 'Cosmic Ark' is also be toured as part of the VR experience. In light of the current restrictions on movement, anyone from anywhere in the world can explore the exhibition and the artist's studio on their smartphone or any other device with internet connectivity," ARTcon said in a press release.
In-person visits at the gallery will be possible based on appointments after lockdown restrictions are withdrawn or slackened, and the exhibition would remain open every day for visitors from 12pm till 8pm in that situation, the organisers said.
The exhibition will continue across both platforms until May 14.