THE STRANGE COINCIDENCE OF ASIAN ART AND ARTISTS ON SIMILAR TRAIL
M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI AND MAI TRUNG VISIT TO FRANCE IN 1937-1938
Mai Trung an artist from Vietnam visited France in 1937 and stayed there till the end of his life. M.A. Rahman Chughtai an artist from Lahore visited Paris in same year. It is reputed that Chughtai met a lot of artists in Paris, and discussion about art took place there. Unfortunately this time Elza Huiffner was not there with him. He was all alone this time. His Dutch friend Rose Cera had also opted for Paris on her own, and even she was not there with him. He bade her good-bye in London itself. This we do know that he was short of money and conspired with his brother in law, Gulzar Chughtai to sell some of his pencil sketches on the bank of the river Sienne. This was to be a secret sale so that nobody would know that the artist was making these works. Probably he was making Western responsive things for the French market. Gulzar Chughtai told us how he was able to sell all of them on condition of the artists name. M.A. Rahman Chughtai resented that Gulzar Chughtai had divulged his name in Paris.
Dr Abdullah Chaghatai, his brother, was also in Paris the same year, for his doctrate on the Taj Mahal of Agra. Abdullah had gone and met Pablo Picasso on his own and presented him with a copy of the book Murraqqa e Chughtai, the drafting of which Pablo Picasso liked very much. Paris was a hot bed of art and artists, and there is a chance that these two artists met each other. But there is no record of the name of artists he met there. In any case both would recognize each other and see that they were meeting in the cross roads of Asian Art in a foreign land. Maybe more comes out later.
In any case M.A. Rahman Chughtai died in 1975, and Mai Trung in 1980. It looks like they were both blessed in same time frame of life.