London-based painter Matthew Krishanu takes inspiration from his childhood spent in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka to produce his dream-like, reflective paintings.
Matthew’s British father and Indian mother completed theological training in Birmingham, then relocated their family to Dhaka in the early 1980s, working for the Church of Bangladesh. His work explores his eleven years living in Bangladesh, while capturing his distinctive bond with his brother. His paintings explore the childhood gaze of the boys, depicting experiences of an atmospheric yet complex world of expatriates, missionaries and expansive landscapes.
Matthew Krishanu says: “I want the viewer to sense the complications: that the scenes depicted are not always ones of innocence, that there are historical and cultural currents at play, and that the childhood world is easily punctured by adult constructions and beliefs.”
Jenni Lomax (former director of Camden Arts Centre) writes in her introduction to the exhibition catalogue: “Autobiography plays some part in all Krishanu’s work, whether populated by figures or uninhabited like his landscapes. However, his paintings are given a deliberate edge of uncertainty that folds reality in with the collapsing of time.”
The show includes two paintings recently acquired by the Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London.