Gallery FPH: Burma-Born Artist Aman Displays His Paintings In Aamchi Mumbai, Says 'Gothic Architecture In SoBo Fascinates Me'

Gallery FPH: Burma-Born Artist Aman Displays His Paintings In Aamchi Mumbai, Says 'Gothic Architecture In SoBo Fascinates Me'

Aman is now involved in depicting popular monuments through his pen and ink-based drawings. However, as an artist, he has explored other domains of art too.

Swarna SrikanthUpdated: Friday, July 05, 2024, 01:20 PM IST
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Artist Aman (Amanullah Majeed) | Artist Aman

Mumbai has the power to make people fall in love with the city. Amanullah Majeed who came to Mumbai about four decades ago was impressed with the buildings and monuments inspired by the ancient gothic architecture here, which made his heart beat for the city and bring these structures on the canvas. Better known as artist Aman, started expressing his love for Mumbai by depicting its monuments with his pen and ink artworks. 

Artist Aman was born in Burma, but he soon moved to India with his family. After initially living in Uttar Pradesh, he came to Mumbai and was touched by the city's architecture, especially those monuments in South Bombay. Be it the iconic CSMT railway station or the Gateway of India, his artistic excellence brings out his love for Mumbai. 

Love for gothic architecture in SoBo

The artist considers that South Bombay stands out with British-style buildings and most structures with gothic architecture lie in this part of the city. He points out that not only he loves South Bombay, but people too love his artworks that depict monuments from here. 

For instance, he talks about his artwork on Victoria Terminus (VT), which is now addressed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, and says, "VT has become symbolic to Mumbai. Whenever movies switch to a scene from Mumbai, this spot is shown to establish the location. Also, what makes the place more significant is it being a UNESCO World Heritage Site." Saying so, he tells us that if he were to pick or name one of his best artworks, it would be the ones showing Mumbai’s iconic CSMT railway station building in different angles and perspectives. 

Inspiration

The first of all his inspirations happens to be his father, who supported Aman to explore his passion for art and assisted him with art materials. When Aman once visited his dad's workplace, which was associated with construction and tools supply, he revealed that its architecture left him stunned. "In my early days, I have seen my father involved in designing and architect works, which drew my interest towards architecture after perceiving it as art."

The artist also believes to be inspired by famous cartoonist late Mario Miranda and his works that depicted Mumbai through its buildings and streets. "I started creating Mumbai-inspired art by looking up to him. While he was known for his caricatures of Mumbai, I embrace a realistic approach in my works to add life to my drawings." 

Artist Aman's style and interest for art

Aman is now involved in depicting popular monuments through his pen and ink-based drawings. However, as an artist, he has explored other domains of art too. "Earlier, I would do oil and paint to create landscapes. But over time, I lost interest in it and got bored with it," he said, while revealing that he has always been interested in perspective art. “Buildings and their architectural aspects have fascinated me since childhood." 

How does artist Aman sketch these monuments that hold the ability to take you back to the vintage period? While its colour palette involves sepia along with black and white tones, his procedure to imagine, visualise and create the ancient look is worth knowing. He uses technology to re-imagine the building with an old look, at his studio. Only later, he pulls out his canvas and ink to create the artwork. "If I were to sit in front of a structure and bring that on paper or canvas, I would get the recent look. But my style involves creating the old look, suggesting how a monument and its surroundings would have looked years ago. So, I create it in the studio with the help of a photo reference. That's my initial step which is followed by pen and ink work." 

"Challenging is more fun"

He initially used paper as his material to showcase his artistic talent. Now, he brings out monuments on the canvas, which he discusses to be a challenging medium for a pen and ink art. "It is comparatively challenging to create artworks with a pen on a canvas. Pen is easier on paper as the tool is designed for it, but the canvas has a rough texture which makes the usage of a pen a little challenging,” the artist says. “However, challenging is more fun. I enjoy it,” he adds. 

We ask why he invests his time and interest to draw ancient structures and not any other. To this, he associates it with nostalgia and says, "People like to collect old things that remind them about 'Bombay.' It is mostly because they have a connection or attachment towards a particular building, which could anytime make them relive good old memories." 

Talking about his initial days in India, the Burma-born artist mentioned that the phase involved struggle, which made him take a break from his passion for art and carry out a conventional job. "I was 14-15 years old when my family came here and India was a new place for us. My father had retired from his government service and that made me look up for a source of money. I went for an office job, at a courier company, by taking a break from my art creations," he said while mentioning that life let him embrace art again, sooner. Since then, for over three decades now, Aman has invested his time and talent in generating artworks while romancing gothic structures, especially those in Mumbai. 

One can meet Aman and take a look at his creations at the Gallery FPH, Free Press House, Nariman Point, Mumbai. His ongoing solo exhibition here would extend till July 15, 2024 and would also facilitate direct sale. 

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