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Dhaka art summit: Bangladeshi masters on display

  • Published at 05:07 pm February 12th, 2020
Dhaka Art Summit
Famous artwork of SM Sultan on display at the Dhaka Art Summit Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Dhali Al Mamoon is known for his versatile experimental works

Dhaka Art Summit 2020, held from February 7 at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy is a nine-day program showcasing artworks of artists from all over the world. Local artists too were celebrated with a rich array of brilliant art pieces being displayed at the event. 

Dhali Al Mamoon is known for his versatile experimental works. His drawings, paintings, sculptures, installations and videos explore history and identity of Bengal. Born in Chandpur and currently living in the port city Chittagong, Mamoon is a professor at the Department of Painting, Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Chittagong and one of the most influential teachers there. His art writings reflect the anti-colonial perspective and shed light on issues related to colonial mentality such as inferiority complex in the colonized people. 

One such piece, showcased at the Dhaka Art Summit (DAS) presents how the colonizers came into this part of the globe with intensions of trading spices. The piece is a sculpture of a throne and composed mainly of two different materials, symbolizing what was left behind after the colonial rule [mostly garments waste and different kind of spices, with details of bones wrapped with bandage.] The throne consists of two different parts. One half, which looks like wooden Victorian furniture is made of spices, representing what the colonizers have taken. And the other half looks skeletal structure, which the artist composed using bandage and plaster, representing what the colonizers left behind. The legs of the throne are hooves, symbolizing movement.

Shishir Bhattacharjee, is a painter whose work stands out for its strong social commitment, sarcasm and wit. Currently a professor and Chair of the Drawing and Painting Department, faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Dhaka, Bhattacharjee is considered one of the leading satirical cartoonists in the country and continues to publish political satires on the front cover of nationally circulated newspapers. One of artworks showcased at the Dhaka Art Summit was a painting about the timeline of obstacles in Bangladesh’s liberation movement and how Bengalis broke through the shackles of the Pakistani rule in 1971. 

Aminul Islam was arguably one of the first to introduce mosaic murals to the art scene of Bangladesh. His artwork and figures gradually became more suggestive and more geometrically organized later on in his career. One such artwork was showcased in the Charukola section at the Dhaka Art Summit which is a great example of his legendary geometrically pleasing work.  He was a student of the first batch of the Government institute of Arts, Dacca. After completing his degree in 1953 he studied in Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze in Florence from 1953-1956. Later he became a teacher at the institute and became its principal in 1978. 

S M Sultan was born in Narail, Bangladesh. Sultan was known for his energetic paintings of muscular farmers and their engagement with the landscape of Bangladesh. He began his studies at the Government School of Art in Calcutta but left without completing his degree to travel to Kashmir. This inspired many of his landscapes. His devotion to rural art education had a lasting legacy, inspiring many initiatives to promote personal growth outside of urban centers through art. Charupith, is an art institute located in Jessore, Bangladesh which is inspired by the philosophy and vision of the legendary artist.  He was the chief advisor of Charupith until his death in 1994. The S M Sultan paintings showcased at DAS were curated from Charupith Institute.

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