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Art of Living
Chandan Shafikul Kabir is a Freelance artist Living and working in Milan, Italy. He turns natural fibre into a variety of artistic and green creations, and also upcycles waste into new and beautiful objects. EarthSmiles.net's Rupa Pandit catches up with the artist.

Rupa Pandit: What do you consider to be your biggest achievement or success?

Chandan Shafikul Kabir: Is the truth completely revealed on the basis of the information and scenarios of the life so far lived? It will be rather relevant to take refuge in the lines of poet ParthaPratimKanjilal “What would have made me successful? Is there/ Any such success, when achieved, can make / The rest of the life not to bother?.../ The tree can be known from the fruit it bears, where one can find a tree/ when the tree has no leaves.

Maintaining the very existence in a foreign land in the midst of the present transient scenario and to be connected to some creative activity seems to be a great achievement or success.

RP: Do you rate yourself different from others as an artist? From other artists, other people?

CSK: Although the leaves of a tree look similar, they are not identical; similarly, the artists, even though are alike to their contemporary counterparts, as thespians individually they are as dissimilar.

RP: How do the works of the artists of the present times differ from those of the earlier times?

CSK: Down the ages, with the change of the information of the social development, there have been changes in the world of ideas of the artists and it is still on. It is a constant process.

Inevitably the same is reflected in their creations as well. Obviously, there lies a huge gap between the art forms of hundred years back and those of the contemporary times. That way, epoch-making changes are taking place, every moment, in art forms in terms of language, variety or philosophy. It can be claimed that the novelty in today’s art lies in variety of components, procedure and presentation.

RP: As an entrepreneur do you feel Gen Y is turning environmentally conscious?

CSK: I feel the next generation will be literally forced to turn eco-friendly. There will be no option left, because whatever is eco-friendly is not something draconian; it was always present. Also, I feel the youth of today is certainly very conscious.

The artist working at his studio in Milan. In the background, natural fibre of many types are visible.

RP: A lot is said on our world’s environment. Do these have any effect among the artistes?

CSK: In one way, they have to come through a long process of practice in order for the trainees to become artists in the methodical sense of the term, something that is based on nature or, directly connected to nature and environment. Even in the later stage this connectedness to nature, in some way or other, takes on a dimension in one’s thought process and ideas. This very existence of mankind, or, for that matter, their livelihood in terms with the present times, are, beyond doubt, bears close relation to nature. Worth mentioning here, there can be traced several individual or communal initiatives, who are exquisitely creating art forms basing on environment, nature, life-forms etc. in various mediums and genre. Especially, the participation of the practioners of fine arts in the movement for saving the ecological balance of the earth deserves special mention...

RP: In one sense, mankind is harming our planet. Is there any chance for atonement?

CSK: In the flip side of human progress and development, there lies environmental damage thereby. Today, there is no debate over this truth, worldwide. In fact the socalled index of human progress is so pronounced on the very alter of destruction of nature! Even though, whenever, there has been a regress in relation between man and nature, symptoms of destruction of nature, environment and life-forms have been clearly apparent before man; with the culmination observed of development of global consumerism, there seem not have any respite from this. In fact, we know or believe that nature takes its revenge; isn’t the nature itself hinting to us, some way or the other, the terrible dimension that she is going to take up? It is beyond our capacity to ascertain whether this loss can at all be compensated.

RP: Please elaborate how the painters are connected to nature.

CSK: Likewise every individual living on earth, the painters, also, are intensely connected to nature. An artist is, in various ways, influenced by nature in terms of the sensitivity of his artistic creation. Actually, a painter presents an essential interpretation of nature, even though not an exact one. Agreeably, there lies the smartness inherent in art. Besides, many artistes collect their materials directly from the nature. The lifefulness of nature with its enormous and inevitable influence is present in the creation of art. This explains how, in various phases and processes of artistic creation, nature is illuminated in the aesthetic finesse with its beauty, sustenance and form incarnated.

RP: In which ways, will you want to have nature reverted to its earlier form?

CSK: I wonder if it will be at all possible to revert nature back to its earlier state, but, without harming it further, each individual can be encouraged to commit to nurture it. Then, even though it is not possible to restore instantly the beauty of the earth that is decaying due to human enterprise, generation after one another; leading an eco-friendly life in admittance to the liability of growing and living its lap, is definitely possible. That will, at least partially, help.

RP: Can the artists encourage the common people in this matter?

P.C.: The artistes can take up a role bigger than what a commoner can do in this regard. An artist, with his art work conjured up with close proximity to nature and steeped in philosophy, can inculcate awareness and inspiration.

RP: Do you yourself want to dedicate any of your creations?

CSK: As a fibre-artist I am dependent on nature in much more. Most of the materials used in the creation of my art form is collected from nature. More precisely speaking, the fibre materials like cotton, jute, bamboo, cork, creepers, fibres, straw etc mainly comprise the raw material for my art. This is, in absolute term, hailing the nature. Perhaps that is manifested in modern, contemporary art form or presentation. Besides, they are the factory-produced several artificial commodities that are the indirect components responsible for the destruction of nature. I use those materials as components of my art creation. This is how and through various other ways, through repetitive use, the wastes thrown on nature can be reduced. What is more important here is the awareness of not to produce and use such commodities any further.

RP: Say something for our readers.

CSK: Mankind is the best creation in nature. The life variations are intrinsically connected to each other in the earth and nature. So, if the nature and these life variations remain normal, mankind will be benefitted. So, let us be careful not to destroy the beauty and variety of nature, but to enrich them. Be one with art and the beauty of life.

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