A Journey in Colours
The twentieth century was an elegy of extremes – it manifested new ideas and toppled old social orders. It heralded change that transformed the mindscape of the common man. India, poised on its adventure with modernity and freedom, had generated within itself many facets. It had opened windows to the new world and eagerly looked outwards for modernist ideas. And yet, its roots remained entrenched within layers of ancient wisdom and philosophy. The Bengal Renaissance had spread its wings, unfurling the idea of the renewal and revolution to the furthest corners of the country. A new brand intellectual revolutionaries – who belonged from the indigenous populace and who sought to reclaim the glorious past of their country – were born. This new intelligentsia familiarized themselves with their surrounding and reinterpreted them, often in the process inventing new methods and innovating improved techniques. The fresh perspective helped them to savor the unique flavor of India, critically analyze the people and their lives, the collective ambience and derive genius from the little nuances of the mundane.
Indeed, in Dickens’ words, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
– (Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities)
It was in this era of transition – the period between the dark dystopia of the 19th century imperialism and the impertinent sprawl of post-modernism, that Khaleeq Ashfaq Khan began his remarkable journey. In the quiet embrace of the suburban Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, that young Khaleeq took his first breath. The eddies of the waning British Raj and the looming World War II flowed furiously around the city and Shahjahanpur remained entrenched as a part of the greater India – the country of sleepy towns and languorous villages.
A young Khaleeq grew up in a world of such stark reliefs, exposed to the checkered board of tradition and indigenous lifestyles as well as the illumination of modern thought and theory. Away from the fiery cauldron of war and unrest that plagued the rest of the world, he found himself deeply enamored by art and by the various media one could express beauty with.
This book traces his evolution as an artist and a connoisseur of various painting styles, particularly those that are derived from an exclusively Asian and Indian heritage.
Author(s): Taru and Yasir Hameed