Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 16, Tuesday, April 20, 2010



Kaleidoscopes of vibrant colours

With the fall of the Euro, the market for fine arts in Europe and elsewhere in the west is not so bright. In Dhaka, today, it is not just the expatriates and the foreign buyers, who are the best patrons for our artists; local buyers too back our artists as never before. This is seen in galleries like Shilpangan, Chitrak and new outlets like Dhaka Art Circle.

Yes, some of our buyers tend to treat collecting art work as collecting of material assets -- buying those which will impress visitors with big names. Yet others save, and buy in installments, giving paintings as wedding gifts or, just improving the ambiance of their own homes.

Going by reasonable prices, the recent printmaking exhibition of Shantawana Shahrin, who has completed her Masters from Shantiniketan, was certainly an admirable one. She has worked in different mediums such as wood, metal and stone.

Shahrin had used her imagination, skill and soul pitch to present her innermost feelings, thoughts and hopes. In her first solo, the artiste brings in man and nature, presenting her penchant for more of leaves, trees and grass, having come to Dhaka after years of idyllic surroundings in Shantinketan.

Many of her works are simply black, gray and white, and yet, in them, she takes us away to the land of fancy free poetry, with crescent moon, falling stars and masses of foliage and even butterflies for good measure.

She develops on her surrounding -- the picturesque metal bars of her classroom that make exotic motifs to leafy bushes outside and skies splattered with innumerable stars. In presenting her own psyche, Shahrin depicts the thoughts and feelings of other women like herself.

She says that at first she was concerned mostly about her own situation, but that now she ventures into other people's worlds too.

Shahrin does not only deal with simple bold blacks and whites. Some of her work have layers of pastel jade greens, oranges and other earthy , muted tints.

In contrast, was the more ambitious display at Dhaka Art Circle, Dhanmondi, with its big names like Kalidas Karmakar, Monirul Islam and Shahid Kabir. Local professors with years of learning overseas, and decades of experience as trusted teachers of artists -- who have made a name for themselves today were there too.

This included Rafiqun Nabi and Abul Barq Alvi. These well-known painters brought in scenes from the Hill Tracts, the village, areas with their charm of the boats and the gilded skies against which they are seen. Even KG Subramanyam's sketch of a goat's head had been included.

Nobo Kumar's rickshaw art -- which began recently at Alliance Francaise -- was a treat for those who went in for ethnic art. These had raw, startling paints depicting mythology, history, romance in the local silver screen, animals, birds and reptiles.

Nobo had been doing billboard and rickshaw art for decades. This was until he got a job at the Alliance Francaise, when the computer took over, and hand-painted billboards and rickshaw art saw their demise.

However, the authorities at the French cultural centre encouraged Nobo for years to continue his ethnic art, rickshaw painting etc. and have a solo to boast of.

Also pulsating with colours, images and textures was Anukul Mojumder's display at Cafe Mango, Dhanmondi -- which always has an interesting display of works by younger range of painters. Here the artist had brought in the theme of joie de vivre in the villages during the festive seasons. Dancers, singers and onlookers had been brought in with admirable felicity of the brush and chalk in the wide range of mixed media work.

By Fayza Haq

Check It Out

Singapore Grand Prix

Host to one of the most exciting Grand Prix races in the world, Singapore is one of Asia's 7 Formula 1 racing venues. The Marina Bay Street Circuit will hold its third race this year on September 26, 2010.

Ticket sales will start from March 1, 2010. The tickets will be priced differently across two phases: early bird (1 March to 30 April) and regular (1 May to race week).

65,000 three-day general admission tickets are available, in addition to the 10,000 Paddock Club and corporate hospitality suite tickets. This brings the total capacity to 75,000 seats, pending the launch of single-day Zone 4 walkabout tickets.

For general admission tickets, Singapore GP is implementing guaranteed prices throughout the sale period so that fans can make more informed decisions on when to buy tickets. The “early bird” phase, which will last for two months (1 March to 30 April), offers fans average savings of approximately 15 percent, with the Padang, Turn 3, Esplanade Waterfront and Bay Grandstands offering the best savings at 17 percent.

Responding to feedback, Singapore GP will, for the first time, release a walkabout ticket that allows fans access to Zone 1. Although single-day walkabout prices are not yet released, it is expected that three day tickets will offer at least 25 percent savings over individual day tickets.

Tickets will be available at www.singaporegp.sg and via the ticketing hotline +65 6738 6738 and to book a hospitality suite at the event contact hospitality@singaporegp.sg


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