Up-and-coming Brisbane artist challenges her cultural background in a new art and photography exhibition

Local, up-and-coming abstract painter and photographer, Jui The Artist, will be displaying her collection of works at the Red Bowler Coffee Lounge and Wine Bar on Sunday, 3 October 2021. Upama Saha, known as Jui, was born in Bangladesh and grew up in Bangladesh, Iran and India before relocating to New Zealand. Jui resided in New Zealand for eight years before immigrating to Australia in 2005. Jui graduated from Brisbane State High School in 2006 and currently works in customer service and call centres in the field of sales and marketing as a day job. But Jui’s real passion is creating art. During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown of 2020 and 2021, Jui poured her heart and soul into creating a beautiful collection of abstract art and photography which will be on display at her first exhibition on October 3. We recently sat down with Jui to talk about her work.

Art by Jui The Artist

Jui’s debut exhibition titled ‘The Wave’ came about because she wanted to create a glimpse of loveliness in a bleak world during the pandemic. In the more than 17 years that she’s been living in Australia, Jui has never seen any other Bangladeshi artists exhibiting in Brisbane. She wanted to be the first. Through ‘The Wave’ she is hoping to show Bengali people that being creative and letting your passion shine through is not only normal but that it is something to be celebrated.

Jui’s cultural background generally does not accept creativity as a respectable career choice. Often, painters, sculptors or creators of any kind are simply seen as hobbyists. But this inspirational and trail-blazing artist wanted to show children that being an artist is possible no matter your cultural background.

“I want every little girl and boy to know that anything that you want in your creative dreams is not only doable, but it is absolutely possible.”

Jui The Artist
Photography by Jui The Artist

‘The Wave’ will feature roughly 44 pieces of abstract art and photography from Jui The Artist. Jui has been creating abstract art for the last ten years. She was initially inspired to try abstract art by her friend, Tanya. Jui has always loved to paint but despite her love for the art form struggled to even paint a hand, let alone a face! Luckily, about ten years ago, Jui’s friend, Tanya, introduced her to abstract art! This art form fascinated Jui as for the first time she was free to embrace imperfection and mistakes through art. Jui says that the discovery of abstract art was incredibly empowering and freeing and did wonders for her mental health.

“There are no mistakes! In abstract art, there are just unfinished pieces. If you don’t like something, you can always paint over it. And I found that very empowering and freeing.”

Jui The Artist
Art by Jui The Artist

Jui says that her favourite artwork that she has created so far is a photography piece of her friend, Phoebe, wrapped in a saree as well as an abstract art piece of a woman that she painted. She hopes that everyone who attends her exhibition will be able to come to their own interpretations of her work as they experience each piece. Of course, she wouldn’t mind selling a few pieces to some of her new fans either!

Jui is inspired by the work of well-known artists such as Van Gogh and Jackson Pollocks. But she also credits her close friend, Tanya Sinha, as a key influence. Sinha is herself an amazing artist as well as a lawyer and taught Jui to embrace art in all its flaws.

Photo of Jui The Artist

Jui says that the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns had a massive influence on her work as it really forced her to invent her own idea of optimism and beauty in a bleak world. She had to learn to create something beautiful for herself as opposed to seeking it from the outside world.

Jui’s Bengali cultural background is another factor that has massively influenced this young artist. In her culture, art work is generally not created with interpretation in mind.

“We always know what we are looking at because there is a description of it and often art classes have an example of what you were supposed to paint. Such as a bowl of fruits or a jar of some sort.”

Jui The Artist

But it was in discovering abstract art that Jui was forced to challenge her cultural expectations and truly grow and explore new possibilities. Jui hopes that her work would inspire and encourage others to explore abstract art and to experience the freedom to create anything with passion without the fear of mistakes or the limitations of traditional art.

Jui The Artist will present her exhibition entitled ‘The Wave’ at Red Bowler, West End from 5pm on October 3, 2021. Come along to celebrate the work of this local Brisbane artist. There will be live music and food trucks as well! Admission is free.

Click Going to the the Facebook event here.

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