'The Sound of Silence' is a retroprospective exhibition of artworks by Golam Faruque Bebul.
The artist was commonly referred to as Bebul, and has a long list of accomplishments throughout his career. He completed his BFA in Printmaking from Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, presently the Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka; and his MFA at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1985. He also worked as a professor at the Faculty of Fine Art, University of Rajshahi.
Bebul has participated in several exhibitions and workshops in Bangladesh and abroad. He passed away in 2020, but 'The Sound of Silence' at Edge Gallery was part of his schedule. The show was inaugurated on 26 March and will continue until 26 April.
From the perspective of a viewer, 'The Sound of Silence' was a phenomenal experience.
"This is a way to allow my father's legacy to live on," said Bebul's son Ishrak Rafi Tashfi to the Business Standard. "My father was a perfectionist. As the date for a solo exhibition kept being pushed, my father utilised that time to refine his artworks."
Edge Gallery contacted the artist's family to inform them that Bebul had booked a solo show; his family used this opportunity to pay tribute to his work.
"You see, my father hated showing off his art. His passion was just to create beautiful works of art. But I think his works were unique and people should have the opportunity to see the things he has left behind, " said Tashfi.
Upon viewing some of the artworks at the show, the artworks conveyed a feeling of sadness, melancholy, and confusion. It was curious to imagine the artist's mindset and the emotions he might have experienced when working on his art. But not everything was bleak, his use of colour and form also inspired peace of mind in many of his works.
"My father left traces of his disposition on his canvases. Whenever he was in a happy mood, he would use bright colours like blue or green. But whenever he was sad or upset, he used darker colours," said Tashfi.
Bebul's abstract art had earned him a lot of praise from critics and art lovers. He was awarded with the Bengal Foundation Award in 2009 at the 18th National Art Exhibition, organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Bebul would always ask for his son's opinions after completing an artwork and Tashfi would actively participate, which in turn inspired him to also pursue a career in the arts.
"I have completed my honours in Painting from Rajshahi University, and I am currently finishing my master's from Charukala. We are taught many things within the confines of a set of rules," said Tashfi. "However, I think what my father did can potentially inspire newer generations of artists, his works even can inspire newer styles and techniques. Sometimes we need to break the rules to create something new."
Farewell . Acrylic on canvas . 2012
"I have a deep connection with this artwork. I feel my father speaks to me through it. There is a hand in the painting and it makes me emotional sometimes. I feel my father is bidding us farewell." - Ishrak Rafi Tashfi
Duality . Acrylic on canvas . 2016
If you look closely, you will see that half of the face seems happy, and the other half is sad and looks to be hiding something. This was a way for Bebul to portray how people often hide their true emotions.
A Friend's House . Acrylic on canvas . 2016
This was a depiction of a place where the artist would have liked to hang out with his close friends; a place where people would be cosy and left without worries.
Suburb Visit . Acrylic on canvas . 2012
This was a depiction of a place where Bebul wanted to go to. The artwork was composed solely from his imagination. This was perhaps an escape, a place that could give him peace.