By Indranil Halder
On a cold Friday winter night, I meet Michael Halder in an Indian restaurant in Harris Park, Sydney. A decade ago, while working in Sydney CBD for a medical company, I used to visit David Jone(one of the oldest Australian departmental store with an osmotic effect for customers looking for best to shop in a historic building that stands tall and grand in Elizabeth Street) to buy CHANEL gifts for my wife and Michael Halder was there to assist me with a big smile.
Who is Michael Halder?
By profession, Michael is a national make up artist for CHANEL. Specialises in lifestyle, beauty and makeup. Born in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Graduated with commerce degree. Attended Sea Forth College of TAFE – NSW and National Art School during 1980s. Worked at the Australian Water Board as graphic designer and publishing companies.
In Harris Park (the Little India in Southern Hemisphere) with people eating warm jibalis , tandoori chicken and momos in cold winter night, we drank warm chai and listed to Michael. He talked about his nostalgic childhood and the time, he enjoyed growing up in Bangladesh. Father was a teacher, musician and writer, who translated Hamlet from English to Bengali language to be performed on stage. Michael lost his house and father after war of 1971. He paints. Painting and drawing remained a significant part of his life to overcome pain.
During his childhood in Bangladesh, he loved competing for art awards with his friends. He attended the Literary & Cultural Competition Award 1978 (Leo club of Chittagong and achieved Second (Senior) Position for 1971 Friends of UNICEF (Pakistan) “National Exhibition of Children”.
Then he moved overseas.
After reaching Australia, he has maintained his interest in the arts and now divides his time between painting, drawing and working as a makeup artist. In Australia, life has given many opportunities to Michael to work as weekend makeup artist for an Italian modelling agency, followed by a company paid trip to Italy for photoshoot in Florence, Milan and Rome. He opened his own shop with original hand painted T-shirt’s in Surry Hills, Sydney for few years. Then in Chatswood, Michael was offered a full time job with CHANEL and opportunities to travel to Hong Kong and New Zealand with the company.
Holding the warm cup of chai, Michael says,” I love my job with CHANEL as it give me tools to provide freedom to women. They look good, feel good and become confidence in every phases of their life.” He feel, he genuinely transforms their lives as part of his job. His goal is to see women enjoy their life and not to be restricted by option or crippled by personal problems , just like his own life. He had provided his assistance to actress Nichole Kidman (who purchased CHANEL gifts for her mother) , singer Natalie Imbruglia and Roslyn Packer (wife of late Australian billionaire Kerry Packer) to select best of CHANEL products. He had also served men who would purchase one gift box for their wife with a white ribbon and another for a friend (with benefit) with black ribbon around the box. In 2021, he went to Melbourne to enjoy Gabriel CHANEL FASHION exhibition, celebrating the genius of CHANEL’s vision, influence and creations as an artist and 100th year anniversary. Michael cannot be any more happy to be celebrating 20 years association with CHANEL in the near future. He enjoys the niche style and originality of CHANEL as makeup specialist and with his own paintings, he loves to highlight originality and personal touches too.
Michael, himself is an artist.
He had done his Associated Diploma in Arts, Graphic Design and Photography from University of Western Sydney. In 1986 – 1987, he also attended the Seaforth College of TAFE/ Sydney College of the Arts (Fine Arts). He is a member of Lane Cove Arts Society Members Exhibition and had been finalist for Waverley Art Prize, The City of Ryde Art Society and Blacktown Art Prize. He was also the winner of “The Joyce Mills Prize” Commended 2008 Cabravale Diggers Foto Art Annual Exhibition – First Prize “Your World” Category and 2004 Fishers Ghost Art Award – Campbeltown finalist. Followed by 2013 and 2014 -Woollahra finalist and participated in 2013 Lane Cove Arts Society Members Exhibition and 2011- 2012 Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney.
Australian influenced landscape with a blend of Bengali and Australian heritages are subjects of his paintings. Today, he spend his time exhibiting his art works across various galleries in Sydney, Australia and we cannot get enough of his art works. Spending hours in creating colourful pieces that have been in magazines such as Cafe Society, many a times. What I love about his art work is his style, the use of colours and techniques. His mobile phone too, is a mosaic of his own paintings which also tells the story of an artistic individual who is successful in blend in colours, cultures and techniques. As a Bengali Australian, he is definitely a colourful celebration of life in the Land DownUnder with caviar , champagne and rosogula.