Bengal Arts Programme
The Arts Programme of Bengal Foundation supports the practice and understanding of visual arts in Bangladesh. The Arts Programme’s approach is comprehensive: rooted in its local context; it fosters an arts ecosystem within which critical discourse, curatorial practice and artistic creation reinforce each other. Its actions are incremental: it mounts projects of quality, in Bangladesh and abroad, with the intention of maximising impact on the local arts scene. The Programme shares Bengal Foundation’s philosophy and consequently, all its endeavours are entirely for the benefit of the public.
Over the years, the Arts Programme has also been consistently providing grants to artists, either to directly support their practice or to facilitate their participation in relevant educational programmes. It has directly launched or supported various initiatives across the country with the mission to enhance the education and practice of visual arts, such as the Safiuddin Bengal Printmaking Studio and the Bengal Practice Studio in Dhaka, and the S M Sultan Bengal Arts College in Narail. The Programme has supported the first-ever participation of Bangladesh at the Venice Biennale in 2011 and Documenta in 2017.
In early 2016, with a small but robust art market solidly rooted in Bangladesh, Bengal Foundation decided to gradually move away from its commercial affiliates and to focus its Arts Programme on research, exploration and inquiry.
Bengal Arts Programme continues to encourage new critical thinking while remaining aligned with Bengal Foundation’s core mission of building a more humane society through engagement with diverse streams of the arts. In the natural course of its evolution, it continually seeks better and innovative ways to nurture emerging trends and to bring to light the modernist legacy of Bangladesh.