Bangladeshi artist Manir Mrittik talks of love, sexuality, nature in his art pieces

One of the young, dynamic names in the Bangladeshi art scene, Manir Mrittik, is a photographer who likes to experiment with digital photography.

His works are dreamy; his works send a strong message about love and sexuality; and his works are closely connected to nature. One of the young, dynamic names in the Bangladeshi art scene, Manir Mrittik, is a photographer who likes to experiment with digital photography.

Sometimes, his photos transport you to Van Gogh's world of sunflowers and at others, Da Vinci's 'The Last Supper' comes to mind.

Mrittik's first solo show titled 'In The Realm of Ambivalence' is a part of a six-month-long season of cutting-edge Bangladeshi art that Akar Prakar art gallery is bringing to the Capital. Says Mrittik, "I'm interested in exploring beauty in human life as a part of nature in a dream-like manner. Digital cameras usually capture only the visible light for regular photography and only what the human eye can see. But I want to see more or less through my camera, like one would with ultraviolet, infrared or full spectrum light."

For this, he uses a technique called tapestry. Tapestry is a traditional medium of art where fabrics are used. Mrittik uses photography and archival papers for tapestry but his primary interest is creating a dialogue with master painters. "Photography is like drawing for me," he says.

"I can rework on it anytime and the work expands its forms over time. Some of my prints are traditional darkroom prints and cyanotypes, and I often paint on them and add gold-leafs. So I basically feel comfortable to work with multiple mediums."

A set of 10 hand-tinted photographic prints titled Raptures in Time & Space seek to express how history touches us as it passes by while Venus Shattered is another photo tapestry of three pieces that reject the notion of quick, clean definitions of sexuality that have been hoisted on the modern era.

"Love and sexuality is an intrinsic part of our ordinary lives," says Mrittik who also adds that Bangladeshi artists are quite active on bringing attention on LGBT rights and many dedicatedly produce works on it.

"I don't think separately about them when I produce work. But my works are also about my personal experience where I often photograph my body and my dear ones too. If you carefully look at the historic masterpieces, there is a strong feminine presence to explore beauty and sexuality but my own presence in my work does not confine itself into any specific gender. It continues to question art's roles on creating gender stereotypes," he explains.

If you are a fan of surrealism and magical realism, this show is a must visit. - 'In The Realm of Ambivalence' is on at Akar Prakar art gallery, D 43, Defence Colony till October 20

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