Syed Muhammad Zakir’s solo exhibition Maya begins in Dhaka on 22 July


A solo photo exhibition titled Maya by Syed Muhammad Zakir will kick off at Bengal Shilpalay of Bengal Foundation in the capital’s Dhanmondi on 22 July.

‘Maya’ is Syed Muhammad Zakir’s second solo show. Here, Zakir recreates a city – the imagined illusory city of ‘Baghreb’. Time, for him, is not a linear entity, but something that belongs to the space-time continuum. In the exhibition, Zakir draws on the lives of the unnoticed millions wrestling with the city, and the loss and decimation of nature that they face every day.

He manipulates and transforms a broken bough, a deluge of discarded plastic bottles, a tree trunk, an overflowing plastic bag, a tottering cart, layers of styrofoam packaging, and many more ordinary objects, mundane belongings, and materials, that hint at a dangerously teetering environment.

The unlikely juxtaposition of everyday objects, their artistic manipulations and their improbable dialogues inside an unfamiliar space, all work towards building a new, and perhaps startling, consciousness – a realisation of the urgency to return to nature, before we exhaust ourselves completely.

Syed Muhammad Zakir is a visual artist based in Dhaka. He mostly works in public places, involving the people, the commons, and the environment. Through performance art, installation art, land art and wall-art, Zakir interrogates our lives and desires, and probes deeper questions relating to the universe and the cosmos.

A trans-disciplinary artist, Zakir tries to connect with people using body movement and instantly devised activity, while pushing his audience to think. He likes working with the assortment of materials, shapes, textures and objects, readily available to us, and lying in our surroundings.

Bright and metallic colours figure in Zakir’s work. His drawings stand out for their strong lines and bold expression. Zakir’s work is often considered satirical, scathing, even humorous.

Born in 1975 in Rangpur, Syed Muhammad Zakir started his art practice when he enrolled in the Faculty of Fine Art in the University of Dhaka, in 1994. There, he trained as a sculptor.

His first collaborative performance show was held in 1996. After that Zakir has performed in many solo and collaborative performance-art shows. He continues to make drawings.

Professor Lala Rukh Selim of Fine Art, University of Dhaka, artist and art-writer Mustafa Zaman, and artist Mahbubur Rahman, will speak on the occasion.

The exhibition will remain open from 4:00pm to 8:00pm daily except Sundays till 2 September.