Upheavals

‘Upheavals’ is an exhibition that explores contemporary Bangladesh through the eyes of eight Bangladeshi artists of three generations. It examines the ambiguous power of change through three generations of artists from Bangladesh. The notion of transformation carries a potent paradox, one that pits the aspiration where the old can be subsumed in a new, bettered state against the sinister through which what initially was is either destroyed or no longer recognisable. As a country, as an idea, Bangladesh provides a unique ground to discuss this ambiguity.

A few artworks in the exhibition allude to the quick succession of departures and disruptions that have characterised Bangladesh’s recent history. Others hints at the radical evolution that have profoundly impacted the way its people live and think in the past decades. If ‘Upheaveals’ pencils a landscape in perpetual motion, it leaves open the question of the destination.

‘Upheavals’ was part of the official programme of Kathmandu Triennale 2017, and was jointly inaugurated by H.E. Ms. Mashfee Binte Shams, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal, and Ms. Sangeeta Thapa, Founder & Chair, Kathmandu Triennale, on 26 March 2017.

The show continued until 9 April 2017, everyday from 11 AM to 7 PM.

Participating Artists:
Dhali Al Mamoon
Shishir Bhattacharjee
Dilara Begum Jolly
Mustafa Zaman
Promotesh Das Pulak, Razib Datta
Zihan Karim
Marzia Farh

Inauguration:
26th March 2017, Sunday, 2 PM, Park Gallery

Exhibition Venue:
Park Gallery, Pulchowk, Lalitpur, Nepal
Tel: +9771-5522307
Entry condition: Open to all

Exhibition Press release: Dhaka, 28 March 2017 PRESS RELEASE Bengal Foundation represents Bangladesh at the inaugural edition of Kathmandu Triennale “Upheavals”, Bengal Foundation’s exhibition which is a part of the ongoing Kathmandu Triennale 2017, was inaugurated on March 26 marking the Independence Day of Bangladesh at the Park Gallery, Lalitpur, Nepal. Ms. Mashfee Binte Shams, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal, and Ms. Sangeeta Thapa, Founder & Chair of the Kathmandu Triennale jointly inaugurated the exhibition. Veteran artist Mustafa Zaman also spoke on behalf of the participating artists during the inaugural ceremony. An an exhibition exploring contemporary Bangladesh through the eyes of eight artists from the country, ‘Upheavals’ will run from 26 March to 9 April, 2017. ‘Upheavals’ examines the ambiguous power of change through three generations of artists from Bangladesh. The notion of transformation carries a potent paradox, one that pits the aspiration � where the old can be subsumed in a new, bettered state against the sinister through which what initially was is either destroyed or no longer recognisable. As a country, as an idea, Bangladesh provides a unique ground to discuss this ambiguity. A few artworks in the exhibition allude to the quick succession of departures and disruptions that have characterised Bangladesh’s recent history . Others hints at the radical evolution that have profoundly impacted the way its people live and think in the past decades. If ‘Upheaveals’ pencils a landscape in perpetual motion, it leaves open the question of the destination. The participating artists are: Dhali Al Mamoon, Shishir Bhattacharjee, Dilara Begum Jolly , Mustafa Zaman, Promotesh Das Pulak, Razib Datta, Zihan Karim and Marzia Farhana Quick, repeated historical transformations in the past decades have seen the entity known today as Bangladesh morph from a part of the British Raj to a province of Pakistan to an independent nation born out of a devastating war. Two video-works discuss the lasting impact of the British imperialist intervention on the Indian sub-continent as Mustafa Zaman (b. 1968) touches upon the complex consequences of the colonisers’ intervention in the psyche of the colonised. Dhali Al Mamoon’s (b. 1958) works directly allude to the lasting upheaval of the partition of 1947 that ensued. The long fight for Bangladesh’s independence culminated in the 1971 war of liberation from Pakistan, an event that has shaped the nation’s identity ever since. The evocative needle-works of Dilara Begum Jolly (b. 1960) recall the specific plight of Bangladeshi women during these troubled times. And while language and cultural identity were defining features of the struggle for independence, these are now under renewed strains triggered by globalisation. The power and wit of the Bengali language is celebrated in the site-specific intervention of Razib Datta (b. 1983). The mural drawings portray the fictional character Ramij in a series of absurd situations. Political disruptions have been manifold after independence. The piquant drawings of Shishir Bhattacharjee (b. 1960) hint with burlesque humour at the decades of upheaval directly following the war, with their succession of coups and counter-coups, and their crafty characters seemingly unperturbed by the ambient disarray. Further, a sculptural object by Promotesh Das Pulak powerfully combines the organic forms of shola-pith flowers with the heavy mass of a fire extinguisher. The work reflect on the evanescent nature of life, at once frail and difficult to preserve. Upheavals are also manifested in the immediacy of daily life in Bangladesh. The country is situated at the front line of the battle against man-made environmental change. Fast-paced economic development is perhaps most manifest in the unchecked urbanisation to which the meditative videos of Zihan Karim (b. 1984) offer a wishful counterpoint. Similarly questioning the human condition in an environment of chaos, Marzia Farhana’s (b. 1985) acrylic on magazine pages de-construct the twin experiences of uncertainty and anxiety. Taken from ordinary calendar pages, the ubiquitous smile of Marilyn Monroe mimics the absurdity of modern life while the scattered body parts drawn in white acrylic recall its deadly nature. ‘Upheavals’ therefore invites the viewer to delve into the specific layers of complexity that form Bangladesh’s current identity. Bringing to the fore original perspectives on particular issues, the exhibitions hopes to demonstrate the universality of what is at stake today in this part of the world. About the Kathmandu Triennale: Kathmandu Triennale is Nepal’s premier international platform for global contemporary arts. It is the latest edition of the pioneering Kathmandu International Art Festival (KIAF), which nurtured several historical outcomes for Nepali arts and the city of Kathmandu. Like the previous Festivals (2009, 2012), the Triennale is thematically engaged with particular social issues and seeks to advance a nuanced approach that encapsulates the pedagogical potential of visual arts. It will run from 24 March to 9 April 2017 in various locations in Kathmandu, Nepal. For Further information, please contact: Punny Kabir punny.kabir@bengalfoundation.org +8801844050711

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