Tuesday, September 7, 2010


"Jenab Assi Chhanaa Kenh khabar ye Kaem Chhu Banovmutt.  Jammu kashmir Bunkik Afsar Chhi Yor Iwaan . Timunn Gotss Prutsunn"
" Sir we do not know who has designed it. Some officers from jammu and kashmir Bank Keep coming over here . Better Ask them."
 so said the gardeners in Badaam Vaari Park  srinagar   when i asked them as to who had designed the beautiful sculpture Fountain in the Park. This majestic almond shaped sculpture fountain in the shape of word ALLAH lies close to the well decorated Warris Khan's Chhaah( Deep Well ) in Badaam Vaari Park Srinagar .From friends in Jammu and kashmir  Bank ,  i came to know  about the creator of this beautiful sculpture . I also learnt that  the artisitc Fountains at Karan Nagar , Babademb and Baba Dharam Dass Temple Chowk( Munawarabaad )  have been designed by this Artist only.Enter the world of Masood Hussain  Painter  from Kashmir valley ,a Trained Graphic Designer from J J School of Arts Mumbai and equally  trained  by his Guru and well known Painter  late G. R . Santosh .
Last time i saw some water colours of late Shri D N Wali  Almast Kashmiri  in an Exhibition organized jointly by Cultural academy and Dr T K Wali ( Son of the late Artist ), I was thrilled to see the beauty and presentation of various facets of kashmiri life through this medium.  Now that i have seen the entire collection of Masood Hussain Titled TRANSPARENT STROKES , i  am  simply amazed to see  these superb water colour Paintings.You may find the birds  , lakes , seasons and landscape  beauty in his water colours yet implicitly or explicitly he paints  the culture and life of the valley both urban and rural.The paintings representing rural life are sheer Nostalgic.The fishermen in their Boats ,Dal lake in various colours, Tongas , Thatched  Roof houses of villagers , Autumn colours , shrines  , Majestic Chinars , Old city or Shahar e Khaas views ,Snow capped Mountains ,Horses , Cows  and calves ,Men and women in Pherans ,House Boats ,Doongas , Shikaras,  city under snow fall,Tourist Resorts ,Badaam Vari Garden srinagar  in  spring Blooms ,Boulevard ,Dubbs of old buildings , Houses lined on Jhelum Banks ,Vegetable sellers in Boats  ,Garlands of Red Chillies hung on windows , Chinar Leaves being  burnt for Kangri  charcoal ,Mughal Gardens and many more views representing kashmir and kashmir only.Just view them . It is Everybody's pleasure .

In an Art Exhibition  of Masood Hussain ,  noted Artist Manjeet Bawa said

"In his work there are no flowers , rivers or colours , Yet he portrays the true culture of kashmir " 

The use of Blue colour (possibly his favourite)   by this artist  is superb.The Autumn colours especially the Majestic Chinars painted by him are simply mesmerizing . Having worked as faculty  at Institute of Music and Fine Arts  Srinagar Since 1977    where at he trained many  Present day Young artists from Kashmir , Masood Hussain has mixed Painting and sculpture and also explored the use of Papier mache and  lattice work  found in old houses in kashmir .From careful study of his water colours , one can confidentaly say that the artist is a master of  various  techniques  like WASHES AND GLAZES , WET IN WET   and DRY BRUSH .
Born on 15th june 1953 in an Educated family , Masood  Hussain 's father was a doctor who possibly like any other kashmiri parent would not  have liked his son to be an Artist. That has always been so in kashmiri families where the son would  usually take over the profession of his father.A  friend of mine wanted to go to Baroda to get himself properly trained as an artist ; his father advised him as under :-

" Ami Khotta Chhuai Baichhun Jaan . Kossa Darbadarri Gayee .  "
" It is better to beg . Why you  waste  time  like this "
Water Colour medium of  Painting dates back possibly to   Cave Painting Era .Then came the Egyptians who adopted this technique .The Europeans too adopted this style in middle ages  . During Renaissance period many artists used this medium . Many modern and contemporary Portrait artists also chose and preferred  this medium. The medium is going to stay longer and has ever expanding  base of  admirers world over .So this great work by  Masood Hussain is bound to spread far and wide in the   world of contemporory Art.

I am informed by friends that paintings of this artist can also  be seen in different Art  Galleries  of USA and UK .Some can be seen in Jammu and Kashmir Bank Corporate Head Quarter  , Raj Bhawan and with many private Collectors  within the country .


                              Beautiful Dal lake done in Blue is just Nostalgic  and refreshing .                               

This Bazar scene below depicting shrines  is a  typical view from the valley  . The architectural beauty  of  shrines and old buildings , vegetable sellers , men in modern dress and Pherans is  appealing in its artistic beauty  and presentation.The expression on the face  of the  man in Pheran is   Hope and helplessness..Is he Outsider of Albert Camus ?
The life of Haanjis or Boatmen depicted  brings back loads of memories and sympathy .
Thatched roof huts in villages ,children and garlands of red chillies being dried under autumn sun  create sheer Nostalgia.

The autumn Views done in water colours are exceptional in style and presentation. Anyone who has seen autumn colours in kashmir  shall have no choice but to appreciate the work . Naseem Bagh and Shalimar Garden's Autumn Grace has been captured with magical  perfection by the artist .

"My sole aim to share my works, is to bring back old memories, bringing all of us together in these troubled times in Kashmir. "Adds Masood Hussain. When i saw above three  Autumn water colours by Masood Hussain , lines from the Poem Raqs e Khizaan ( Dance of Autumn season  ) immediately came to my mind . Here are the lines for all to share .

Khizaan Raseedaa Nigaar e Bahaar Raqs Mein hai  .
Ajeeb Aalaam e Be Aetibaar Raqs Main hai .
Baras Rahein Hain Darakhaton se Rang Soorat e Barg ,

Tillism Khaana e Lailo Nahaar Raqs mein hai .
Junoon Ne Pairhan e Bargo Baar Utaar diyaa ,
Barahangee hai Ki Deewaanwar Raqs mein hai . 
( Ali sardar Jafri ) 

A PEEP OUT OF PAST " a painted relief by Masood Hussain is a very serious creative  work . This relief (uploaded below)  forms the cover of Agha shahid Ali's Book THE COUNTRY WITHOUT A POST OFFICE .Masood Hussain is a master in presenting Kashmir's  Pain and suffering . Men, women , children peeping from windows. Innocent faces reflecting hopelessness ,fear, resignation and longing .He conveys pain that has no religion , caste , creed or colour. Even under these grave negative vibrations all around , the artist lives and rises above to convey hope and arrival of a new dawn . There the artist in him meets demands without shirking and demonstrates courage of intellectual conviction .This   relief   depicts a child peeping from the window to see the outer world for he lies trapped in the emptiness and gloom of the world of his room.The child 's face is mystical .Broken pieces of wood joined together for existence and window dressing .Metaphysical in contours and presentation.This is incidentally Masood Hussain favourite  painting.

    Below is a village scene in water colours by the artist
       The colours used by the artist in the above painting  represent the Autumn season  . A typical view of a village in Kashmir close to hills .Barren trees . Dry leaves on path. Innocent children in woolens follow some friendly / domesticated Poultry birds. The children had possibly joined their mother who had gone out for collection of dry timber pieces for the kitchen . Poverty’s grace and elegance in water colour . A grace that surpasses material possessions of existence .
While the children are happy and playful , the mother carries the load yet keeps strict vigil on their movement . She follows them to look at their safety . Human feelings or Mother child relation on display .

A strange paradox lies in Mother and child relation. The mother loves the child intensely so as not to lose him/her any moment while this very love helps the child to grow and move away from the mother.
                                                      ( Photograph by the Blogger  )

Masood Hussain does not merely paint scenic beauty of valley through his water colours . This artist is an ambassador of goodwill who paints the cultural ethos of kashmir . An ethos that bears clear stamp of traditional Harmony that existed amongst the inhabitants .As a sensitive artist , he is touched by the pain and suffering of one and all. Pain has no caste , religion or creed that is what he essentially believes . His colours are radiant enthusing hope of a Happy Dawn. May peace be our permanent companion.
( Thanks to the Artist for allowing me to use some paintings from  his collection Transparent Strokes  .......Autar Mota )  

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