Mustapha Khalid Palash is one of the most illustrious names in the territory of contemporary architecture of Bangladesh. His constructions are distinguished by their 21st century manner of experimentalism. His novel approaches towards architecture make him peerless or practically singular in the country. The recurrent feature of his architectural work is plain view and easy accessibility of air and light. Above all, his work carries a modern touch and has proportional quality. His new-fangled touch and distinct features in architecture have taken the capital city to a different dimension by creating aesthetic, sustainable and functional architecture, constructed one after another for the last one and a half decades.
Beyond his architectural practice, Palash also paints, sings, writes, plays sitar and collects paintings. Both of his parents -- KMG Mustapha and Afroz Mustapha-- were painters in the early 1960s. He was raised in an artistic ambience which helps him to keep in touch with different genres of art and culture. During his childhood, his home was like a hub for artists, poets and academics. Colour and brush have been his close companions since childhood. He has written short stories and poems for little magazines and several literary journals.
Palash has been quite active in the Dhaka art scene since the mid '80s. His paintings feature various architectural designs and shapes. He has freedom to identify himself with his working styles that are apparently synchronised and technically phenomenal. He strives to proceed with a certain style that can become a personal hallmark of his works. Vivacious colours and fragmented shapes hinting at present a kaleidoscopic revelation. In Wassily Kandinsky's description of art, the inner element is most important, without it, no work of art can exist. Palash blends emotion and intelligence in his supposedly abstract expressionism. His works appear to be sparkling and dynamic because of the use of deep colours, profuse shades and evocative lines. His rectangular and vertical lines signifying modern expressionism create amazing rays with each ray possessing an individual look. The largely dominant semi-amorphous and semi-crystalline images of his paintings do not hamper the painter's wish to be universally understood in non-physical mode. Varied structures, ovals and encircled forms principal to several of his paintings and meticulous shapes and patterns clearly endorse his architectural experiences. It is believed that Palash constructs a form or composition and then he deconstructs it, only to recreate it.
Palash's images also ardently capture fragmented visions inspired by expressionism. The artist did many paintings where forms of disintegration were highlighted. His works also highlight a combination of contemporary geometric shapes and multi-coloured forms. The artist has used forms and lines derived from his whimsical visions. A practitioner of oil medium, Palash is one of the very few in the Dhaka art scene working in this elegant, expensive and arduous medium.
Palash is a very warm person, he exudes kindness. His kindness and compassion are immeasurable. He is the kind of person who lights up a room with his tranquil smile. He is natural, unassuming and real. He is bookish and studious. His knowledge is based on many aspects of life ranging from art, literature, architecture, politics, economics, movies, music, history, archaeology and current affairs. He is one of the busiest architects today but he is very punctual by nature. His office and residence are in the same apartment but he is never late to office. I have never seen him bearded since I know him. Despite his social status and intelligence, he remains humble in the workplace and is never pompous.
Palash is an avid art collector. His fascination is natural as he is a born artist. At the age of 16, he had his first painting exhibition, which was inaugurated by legendary artist Quamrul Hassan, in 1978. During a conversation with him, he once said that, at a very young age, he realised that his paintings were quite mature. However, he has a good collection of rare paintings and artifacts. His collection includes great Bangladeshi masters and contemporary Bangladeshi painters. He has a personal relationship with many artists as they were known to his parents. He is very choosy about his collection.
Palash is a founder of Delvistaa Foundation. He has promoted many artistes and painters in our country. Many established artistes, painters and cultural activists have come to him during their acute financial crisis. Palash enthusiastically helps them. His social contribution and loyalty to the country have given him a distinct identity. He shies away from overexposure, commercial lures and dictates of popular taste.
Palash is a multitalented personality and does many things simultaneously. Once he said, "I can even repair shoe." He is a socially conscious person. He without any hesitation talks about his social and economic conditions before the late 90s. His years of struggle helped him to reach his present position. He is a very open, liberal and secular person. At the same time, he is introvert and reticent by nature. When anybody talks about any of his finest architectures, he tries to avoid the matter silently. He is a workaholic and always plunges deep into work. A very busy professional, Palash sketches or doodles either while having long telephonic conversations or during long meetings. He even draws while chatting and does it without any specific aim. When Palash feels saddened and his creative endeavour flourishes, brush and colours assist him to explore his inner vision. He records his pain, happiness and experiences through his canvas, which becomes a mirror of his pensive mood as reflected in his creative process.
This year, this multitalented personality turns 52. In his chequered life, he received many recognitions.