The Work of Creation

You are cordially invited to the opening of ‘The Work of Creation’, an exhibition of works by artist Kazi Ghiyasuddin, at the newly recast exhibition halls at Bengal Shilpalay, Dhanmondi.

The show will be jointly inaugurated by National Professor Anisuzzaman, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG,  Founder and Chairperson of BRAC, and HE Mr Hiroyasu Izumi, Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh, on Friday, 5 April 2019, at 5 PM.

We look forward to your kind presence.

Terms & Conditions
–   Entry to exhibition halls are open to all.
–   An initial security check will be conducted at the gate. You are requested to cooperate with security personnel.
–   Anything larger than a small handbag/ purse will not be allowed inside the venue. Please drop off bags at the counter on the ground floor. You may carry your wallet, keys and mobile phones with you.
–   Members of the media are requested to keep their IDs handy.
–   Professional cameras are allowed to be brought in, but flash photography is prohibited inside the exhibition halls.

Bengal Shilpalay
House 42, Road 16 (old 27)
Sheikh Kamal Sarani
Dhanmondi, Dhaka 1209

Subir Choudhury Exhibition Hall, ground floor
Quamrul Hassan Exhibition Hall, first floor

The exhibition can be viewed every day from 12 PM to 8 PM until Saturday, 18 May 2019


The Work of Creation

Using rich, lyrical language to express lived experience, and creating memories, Kazi Ghiyasuddin responds uniquely to the time and world around us. The Work of Creation asks how the expression of abstraction expands the genealogies of art and generates regional narratives informed by the artists’ attitudes to life, and their dialogues with wider publics and a wider culture, unshackled from the social and formal hierarchies of the arts.

At its inception, Bengal Arts Programme has over the years organised a number of important exhibitions of different scale and scope, ranging from surveys of contemporary Bangladeshi creation to retrospectives of regional modern art. The sixth solo show of Kazi Ghiyasuddin offers not only a retrospective view of artworks but also the insights into his life and the process of creation. In fact, designing a retrospective exhibition is a self-critical activity.

This process opens up perspectives and opportunities, possible even for a history of ideas. Ghiyasuddin’s powerful work is often more approachable, a kind of a gateway into a more intensive art appreciation. His process is often more about ideas than a highly-structured aesthetic experience which requires a compelling and engaging display. In the exhibition, there is an emphasis on remembering, in the form of critical reflections, both on the artist’s work and exhibition histories with numerous documents, photographs and video projection.

Today, Bengal Arts Programme’s approach to exhibition is comprehensive within a redefined parameter and thematically connected displays with critical content, deeper engagement and research-led exploration of the artistic offerings throughout the region. Rethinking the display strategies and language that exhibitions use as intermediaries between the artwork and the viewer, reconceives a broader viewership.

The aim is to examine art in the context of its presentation in the public realm and it is important to provide visitors with as many entry points into an exhibition that might connect with personal experience. Contemporary exhibitions now exist far beyond their walls, and so should their accessibility efforts. Bengal Art Programme’s website culminates resources for the researcher and audience, and the in-depth glimpses of exhibition and critical essays allow deeper engagement with the artists and their artworks.

In an image-saturated, overly mediated time, in which we are constantly receiving new images through the flattened digital forms of news and social media, delivery is profoundly critical for an artist. Ghiyasuddin’s abstraction is a materially complex work that uses vernacular and illusive memories to show the permeation of colour and form into social life, and includes elements of sound that are embedded to look like afterimages. Through focus on persistence and attention to detail, Ghiyasuddin perfected his invaluable skills in several decades of creating art.

His ground is perhaps more material than topical, for like modern ideologies, the idea is not so much to identify a new trend as a new necessity. The traditions of abstraction in the region, and what it means in a variety of contexts and histories, is so much a part of visual culture that it has an aura that keeps it relevant and in dialogue with contemporary expressions in the region.

Ghiyasuddin’s work demonstrates the convergence of his artistic languages with his expatriation from Bangladesh to Japan, in which he encourages audience to interact with his voyage of self-discovery. The gesture of his work serves as a playful reminder of the evidentiary potential of lines and forms, placing abstract aesthetics into his lived existence. Reconfiguring perspective and perception is ostensibly the task art is up to. Yet as the modes, concerns, and exchanges of art have become increasingly transnational, so has art history had to look beyond cultural borders, and refocus on artists’ worldly orientations and affiliations.

Ghiyasuddin’s cross-cultured tropes in paintings—the gesture, the mark in abstraction—and the really unique mode of performing that gesture, functions as a contestant of his own possibilities. Its multi-referent metaphors provide a key to the many past and recent transformations of two distinctive cultures within this body of work, and an ongoing visual scholarship that views empathetic sensibilities through the language of abstract aesthetics.

While we frequently think of abstract art as large, the artist inversely produced smaller pieces that provide a more intimate experience for the viewer. Ghiyasuddin finds inspiration in the sound and nature, responding to patterns, movement, and simple, intimate compositions found in nature, and transforming them into small, boldly illusive pieces of watercolour. The work also depicts the microscopic life of nature that lies beneath the surface. The play of ambiguity that exists between what can be seen at a microscopic level and what can be seen flying over a landscape has been Ghiyasuddin’s exploration for several years.

Ghiyasuddin’s ability to create organic patterns—rather than serving merely as a decorative, surface element of repeated shapes—to create expressive life-giving force, to convey powerful movement, and to communicate emotion—leaves memorable aesthetic experiences and enduring imprints on the minds and hearts of the viewer.

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