“White on White”-
paintings by Sajidbin Amar
“Why do we have to see the painting for concepts and meanings alone? We click photographs of our daily life incidents whichever we enjoy. Why cannot we paint in the similar simple manner and enjoy looking at the incidents through images?” Says Sajidbin Amar. He lives in Hyderabad studied Diploma in painting from JNTU Hyderabad, then Masters degree from Central University Hyderabad. Viewer certainly feels that there is a style of his teacher Laxma Gaud in his art work but he evolved his own language. Though he says do not search for the meanings in paintings but his works are very meaningful. He exhibited nationally and internationally, teaching Printmaking as a visiting faculty to many students. My conversation with him—-
Balamani- You paint because you studied in Fine Arts College!
Sajid-I like painting and had the introduction to painting that is why I studied in Fine Arts college.
BM-When did you start painting?
S-My father used to work as a sign board painter in old city of Hyderabad. He used to paint pictures also at home. I took interest looking at him. I was copying the paintings. I had a chance to meet Sri.Laxma Goud known artist of Hyderabad. I was inspired by his meticulous drawings.
BM-Was there any change in your drawing after meeting him?
S-Yes. Lot of change. He explained me that I should look into the surroundings and draw and paint about them. His advice works even today for me. I paint the surroundings as I understand them. I joined Masters in Painting on his advice. He was my teacher too at Central University Hyderabad.
BM_ What is a painting on surroundings for you?
S-We come across many incidents and happenings in daily life. We do not search for the meanings while enjoy on day to day life. We experience as it comes. For me painting is also like enjoying the context instantly. For ex, a couple goes to restaurant to dine happily on their wedding anniversary. Newly married couple stands with garlands. There are many things happen around me in the surroundings. I paint all those situations as they happen. I feel they are very natural if I paint that way.
BM-Most of your images are composed in divisions, as if boxes are set on canvases.
S-Television has influenced me. When we watch any movie on TV there are advertisements in between and there is no relation between the movie or serial and the advertisements. Afterwards everything keeps moving in our minds as patches. I draw the images similar way. I combine many incidents of our daily life, taking one image to represent one incident. I drew one canvas in an art camp. I was supposed to draw a composition on Hyderabad. I have taken Minars for symbolizing Charminar in the middle. This city has many religions and cultures living together. Horse may be a cultural symbol for one and for another a Kamadhenu. At the same time Auto rickshaw and 4 wheeler vegetable and fruit trolleys are necessary for everyone. I drew all those images then alone image of Hyderabad is complete for me.
BM-Colours of your canvasses are very soft and sensuous.
S-I used to work in black and white most of the time. I had done a series of paintings on “Unseen forefathers” in black and white. We pray our unknown forefathers at burial grounds. I connect the past not seen today in that imagination.
BM-When did you start working in colour?
S- I am a print maker, had a difficulty working in colours to begin with. Till 96-97 I worked in black and white. More TV channels were established in Hyderabad at that time. Big banners and hoardings about the programs were around. That looked as if they wrapped new things in colourful and beautiful gift packs and bags and offered us. That is one of the reasons of bags and boxes appear in my compositions. My paintings are the combinations of many such aspects. I do not plan and search for meanings to paint. When we want to enjoy singing we enjoy bathroom singing also. Why not to enjoy the incidents painting on canvasses as if we are photocopying the subject and enjoy?
BM-Do you weave the different incidents as a story on the canvas?
S-No. It is like this. There are many shops in a shopping mall. Everything together becomes a Mall but every shop is independent. I bring together many subjects to make one composition.
BM-What are the mediums and materials you work most?
S-Drawings, paintings, Zinc plate etching, woodcut, terracotta, etc. like that. Now I am working on white on white prints working on woodcut print making. This is printmaking method only but I did some experimental work and there is a difference in this result. It does not look like print, looks like painting.
BM-These white on white prints are very sensuous. Thank you for the details.
[This is a broad translation of my interview article published in Sopathi, Sunday magazine of Navatelangana Telugu News papers on 2nd December 2018]