This curatorial project was a process based curatorial approach with prolific artist and notable art critic of Bangladesh Mustafa Zaman. We gave him the whole gallery space to intervene with his recent socio-political thoughts and critical discourses in contemporary space. 

See Exhibition Catalogue

Curatorial note: Wakilur Rahman & Kehkasha Sabah


“Mustafa Zaman is apparently obsessed with image and he continually acts to short-circuit established meanings to arrive at new meanings through new contexts. His artworks can be interpreted in many ways from various positions of individual experiences and philosophical frameworks. They are multi-layered and use various media; sometimes they seemingly draw references from other art forms or engage in a direct conversation with art history, which opens doors to new paradigmatic or linguistic possibilities.

In ‘Mercury Falling’ his works evolve from photographic (his own or collected) images layered with drawings, texts, objects, and formal techniques. As we know, in a sense 'Photography' transgresses the idea of a painted or hand-drawn image, replacing it with something which is closest to the real. Mustafa elongates the process of arrival (at the real) to render his presentation surreal. He manipulates an image to an extent where it loses its own meaning to convey the meaning that he envisages – one that stems from his own visual experiences. His photographs and interlayered drawings/objects/artworks become disembodied, fragmentary within the exhibition space, which, one assume, could easily reside in another space in different forms or exist without the body itself, as we too live in our virtual worlds in the era of mass consumption of images. Mustafa’s image making process fascinates us; we invited him to show recent works as we were familiar with his works since many years ago. His intellect obviously leaves an impression on his artworks, but what is interesting is that he is spontaneous, informal yet delicate to the very core of every piece. His inquisitiveness about his own surroundings, about ordinary/found objects, or images helps him reform some forms as well as create forms that speak of his intentionality. 

Also, he is very instinctive and at the same time respectful when he reacts to a space. He is not interested in changing an exhibition space's physical constitution; neither has he tried to exhibit his artworks as a product of our time. Rather, he acknowledges the very matrix as well as temperament of the place and takes into account the totality of the architectural space (from the wall to the floor to the roof), and distributes his artworks in a playful way covering every corner, which helps create a grand visual narration. We see Mustafa’s work as a personalized vocabulary, as an uncertain situation of our stagnant time and as a state of mind, when we are being inundated by a reality, which is out-of-control and is replete with mass images, which, in turn, leaves us bewildered as there are no signs of progress in sight.

Mustafa Zaman is an artist, curator, and notable art critic working in the art scene since last couple of decades. He is now working as editor of Depart, an art magazine focused on "contextual reading" and continually seeking to provide "critical reinforcement to the burgeoning art scene of Bangladesh". “


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