A group of four artists exhibited their works in Korail’s Comilla Potti in the two-day programme that ended on Friday.
The four artists – Sadia Mariam Rupa, Sadia Sharmin, Nadine Gutbrod and Tina Schumann from different backgrounds and with different research interests – have been part of a non-profit organisation Habitat Forum Berlin’s exchange programme since April this year.
The exhibition took place in a small rented space in Comilla Potti where one has to go by foot.
The audience engagement was invigorating – this open space drew attention of people from all walks of life.
As children circled around the painters who answered all their queries with the right cues – one could observe how the small space was used and divided into four.
“The main purpose of this exhibition is to show people of Korail our work … Instead of going outside for a big venue or trying to get high culture review on our work, we wanted to show the people what we have been doing here all this time. I am very pleased with how they have engaged with our work; some of them are pointing at the walls and talking about it with one another. That is very fulfilling,” said Sadia Mariam Rupa, a professional photographer and writer.
The art of the craft
Sharmin and Tina studied architecture—they took the centre wall to adorn it with their artworks.
Tina displayed her various paintings—one of which is on the recent fire incident. Tina’s interest lies in how the small structures in Korail help build the community.
Sharmin, who has worked closely with a few women in Korail, made a chart that can be described as doodles with messages in ink which creates a cognitive map of the everyday life of many in Korail.
Nadine’s corner included her work inspired by textile—her research interest. She had been working with a tailor called Rakib and observing his work within the community.
Rupa’s corner had laminated photographs (which has a local significance) of the Korail life and people, photographs of patterns some of which have fabric and burnt pieces of paper on them, and an art piece made of wooden and nails resembling the motion of waves reclined in a corner.
This event came a few days after a massive fire that burned down 500 shanties in Korail slum.
Rupa noted: “From the start, I have noticed a constant fear of eviction. The recent fire may not have anything to do with it, but it has made people more anxious. I hear many have left their homes after the fire. We have been meaning to exhibit for a long time. Though the recent incident is not part of the exhibition, still you can see it has moved us and made us fearful as well.”