Projecting a culturally rich Bangladesh to a global audience

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Date: Fri 13 Nov 2009 - Sun 22 Nov 2009

Time:Inauguration: Fri 13 Nov 2009 at 12:00 AM

Venue:Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts

Entry: open to all

Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts in collaboration with Art Trust, Kolkata presents DHAKA

Bengal Foundation is a private trust dedicated to the promotion and development of art and culture in Bangladesh. Established in the late eighties, the Foundation's aim is to encourage a regional exchange of thoughts, ideas and practices and to present Bangladesh's cultural heritage to the world. It invests in reinforcing value systems that are critical to the preservation and continuation of cultural practices. Music, theatre and the visual arts have been the Foundation's major concerns since its inception. In order to provide a congenial venue for cultural events, the Foundation established the Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts in April 2000. In its amazingly successful run the Gallery has showcased the work of over 250 local and international artists to date, and has published over 150 brochures on art. In a bid to promote and educate the general public in the appreciation of art and music, the Gallery organizes talks, shows and seminars. To date, along with the shows, 35 documentary films have been published on Bangladeshi art and artists. Every two years, the Bengal Foundation Award is issued to artists for outstanding work featured in the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy National Art Exhibition, since 1998. The first art workshop was held in 1999 with 52 artists participating from Bangladesh and West Bengal, India. In 2002 the Foundation organized the 'Contemporary Asian Art Workshop' jointly with the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, wherein 78 artists from 17 countries participated. In December 2004 the Bengal Foundation, in association with the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and the Bangladesh National Museum, hosted a retrospective of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin featuring 574 of his original works, of which more than a hundred were from the Foundation's own collection. The first overseas art camp was held in 2005 in Florence, Italy. In 2006, the Dhaka Art Camp featured artists from Bangladesh and the eastern regions of India. As part of an exchange programme, Bengal Foundation and Khoj-Kolkata teamed up in 2008 to offer artist residencies in both countries. Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts organized two important exhibitions in Kolkata in 2008. 'Faces of Feminine Expression from Bangladesh', organized by the Akar Prakar Gallery, Kolkata, featured the work of 10 women artists. This was followed by 'Quest for Life', an exhibition of the works of 6 young Bangladeshi artists held in the Weaver's Studio, Kolkata. In 2009 a significant exhibition of the works of veteran painter Safiuddin Ahmed was organized at the Rabindranath Tagore Centre, in collaboration with ICCR. The current exhibition of contemporary art titled Dhaka-Kolkata which, organized jointly with Art Trust, Kolkata, is a reciprocation of the Kolkata-Dhaka exhibition held in February 2009. The exhibition is significant as it brings together a large body of work for viewing. We hope this will stimulate interest in contemporary art trends prevailing in the region. Notes from Art Trust Contemporary art needs to venture beyond the domain of its aesthetic and historical context in order to reach audiences. A major part of the artist-audience connection is defined through organized art activities undertaken by the artists themselves. It acquires new dimension as we take into account the financial and developmental roles of galleries, curators, art writers and the media, that have become the consorted realm for sustaining the 'art scene' of today. The extension of art as purely a cultural product to art as a marketable product, is a concept that has emerged from global trends. Art Trust aims to bridge the gap between the marketing and the cultural product points of views. We believe more concentration in the arts needs social focus and patronage. Art also needs its discourses to disseminate ideas into a dialectic process. We need a vibrant audience to critique and respond to contemporary experiments in art. Art Trust is not a gallery, neither is it a group. Rather, it aims to initiate a process of coordinating and receiving support from galleries, institutions and corporate groups through shared events. The present show is an outcome of such synergy. Art Trust and Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts have collaborated in putting together a selection of paintings from Kolkata and Dhaka. We are grateful to Zulfiqar Ahmed, Syed Nurun Nabi and Syed Ibne Abbas who have extended their support to this endeavour. The encouragement that we have received from eminent painter Qayyum Chowdhury is a blessing indeed. Finally, the support of painters from Dhaka and Kolkata have added to our inspiration. Ashadullah Gayen Vice-President, Art Trust, Kolkata

Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts in collaboration with Art Trust, Kolkata presents ...

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Some of the Artworks on Display

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