Not Husain, but youngest son to exhibit in Mumbai

New Delhi, July 21 (Calcutta Tube) At a time when M.F. Husain lives in self-imposed exile from his motherland, his youngest son Owais Husain is carrying on in his father’s footsteps in India with a solo show of concept and multi-media art.

Owais, 42, who divides his time between Mumbai and Dubai, will blend art, poetry and music at the exhibition titled, ‘3 Worlds’, at the Tao Art Gallery in Mumbai Aug 6-26.

The exhibition that explores different levels of existence will be divided into three sub-shows, ‘The Heart’, ‘The Mind’ and ‘The Spirit’. It revolves around the fact that every human being is a storyteller and narrates stories either through his work or by word of mouth.

‘The Heart’ will feature 15 paintings and 10 charcoal drawings on paper.

‘The idea behind these drawings is that the heart never belonged to you in the first place. The motifs, and the iconography selected here fall under the umbrella of love,’ curator of the exhibition Kalpana Shah said.

‘The Mind’ will make up of installations of replicas of three life-size Siberian tigers, limestone rocks from the desert of eastern Syria and acrylic sheets.

‘It signifies the state of fragility of life and all that is living. The tigers, now a symbol of extinction, have become a sign of our times. All humans, creatures, nature and the environment are living more dangerously than ever before.

‘The concept for the installations springs from the thought that the war of worlds within us are fought and lost in our own minds,’ Shah said.

The section, ‘The Spirit’, is a multimedia blend of art, poetry and music. It will consist of seven beds, placed in the centre of the floor space each with a pillow book of poetry.

Shah said the ‘seven beds upon which lie a pillow book of poetry, are symbolic of the seven stages of love.’

Born in 1967 in Mumbai, Owais studied at Lawrence School in Sanawar, Simla Hills. Between 1984 and 1989, he immersed himself in a wide gamut of artistic pursuits including painting, drawing, textile printing, dyeing, photography and lithography.

The artist went on to join the Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai. After his graduation in 1990, Owais moved to New York City for a year and then set up a painting studio at the Kanoria Centre for Arts in Ahmedabad.

Since the early 1990s, Owais has broadened his area into movie making.

He has worked on several experimental short films in both DV and celluloid formats. In 2004, Owais wrote and co-directed ‘Meenaxi – Tale of 3 Cities’, a full length feature film starring actress Tabu in the lead role.

He is also directing a documentary film, ‘Letters to My Son About My Father’ that looks at the life and times of legendary father M.F. Husain.

M.F. Husain left the country in 2006 after being accused by rightwing groups of hurting the sentiments of Hindus by painting Hindu goddesses nude. He was first accused of ‘blasphemy in art’ in the 1990s. In January 2010, Husain became a citizen of Qatar.

‘Giving up citizenship of India saddens my father. But they say that you can take a man out of the country but you cannot take the country out of him,’ Owais says of his father.

Owais is writing and designing a book of poetry and images, ‘To Speak Is To Disappear’ and producing music and choreographing an experimental opera for an installation in Doha and Qatar.

He is also directing a full length Hindi feature film, ‘Pehla Sitara – A Storyteller’s Journey’.

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