Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 70, Tuesday June 2, 2009















Colours and Impressions

It was an entire day filled with textures, hues, and the mingled scents of paint, turpentine and linseed oil. On May 23, at the Radisson Water Garden Hotel, The Saarc Women's Association organised an exhibition of contemporary art, titled "Colours and Impressions". Participating in this event were artists from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Speaking about the vision behind the event, Amna Rahman, President, Saarc Women's Association, stated that the primary goal was to create a cultural dialogue through art. In order to represent the pulse of the art scene in their respective countries, the criterion for selecting the artists was that they had their work in exhibitions prior to this.

The doors opened at 3pm, following the lighting of the candles by the representatives of the participating countries, as well as executive members of the Association, at the inauguration ceremony. Utshob Hall, where the event was held, was split up into sections, divided by country.

Bangladesh had an impressive roster of 21 artists, including heavyweights like Kibria, Monirul Islam and Rafiqun Nabi, as well as contemporary artists such as Nazia Andaleeb Prema, Kuhu, and Rebeka Sultana Moly, to name just a few. As a result, visitors were treated to a wide range and variety of styles and media. In addition to the paintings, Kanak Champa Chakma was on the stage, rendering a painting live, which added to the attraction of her paintings already on display.

India was represented by a whopping 23 artists, including Mohini Chaudhary, Nandita Mukherjee, Partha Pratim Biswas, and Subrata Kundu, to name a few. Here too, was a wide range of paintings, the portraits and figures in particular, drawing a lot of attention.

Pakistan was represented by 10 artists, including Nahid Raza, Humaira Shahbaz, Hajra Mansur, and the late Mansur Aye. The Pakistani collection was characterized by portraits and calligraphy, with the Women series drawing a lot of appreciation.

Perhaps the most popular collection was from Sri Lanka, which was represented by Imesh Chandra Gunatilaka, Kalasuri Jayasiri Semage, Ruwini Champa Gunatilaka, and Walter Kulasooriya. Their large landscapes, rural scenes and bright colours had everyone making a bee-line for that section.

Finally, there was the Nepal collection which featured 11 artists, including Asha Ratna Dangol, Binod Pradhan, and Erina Tamrakar. The Nepalese artwork was characterized by abstract works focusing on urban life and socio-psychological issues.

In addition to the sales of the paintings from the different regions, and the live painting, there was also a silent auction underway throughout the event. With ambient music, a colourful spectrum of art, this was definitely a great end to the week.

By Sabrina F Ahmad



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