The Third Friendship Art Exhibition-2009 was a joint venture of “Chhobir Haat Art Society” and “Youth Society of Art” along with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The grand inaugural ceremony was held on October 16, 2009 at 4.45 p.m. at the National Art Gallery of Shilpakala Academy. State minister for Home, Advocate Shamsul Haque Tuku attended as chief guest and Professor Muhammad Jafar Iqbal and Artist Jamal Ahmed were the special guests. Kamal Lohani, managing director of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy could not be present due to unavoidable circumstances and the ceremony was presided on his behalf by Artist Abul Barq Alvi. The exhibitions and events were free and open to the public from 11 am to 7 pm till October 22, Thursday 2009.
Chhobir Haat Art Society is an online community for artworks of Bangladeshi artists. The group offers open discussions on traditional and contemporary Bangladeshi art, exhibition and sales opportunities for artists. Youth Art Society, on the other hand, is an endeavour for raising an international platform for artists. The chief organisers of this exhibition Aminul Islam Akon, Jahangir Hossain, Md. Zakir Hossain (Pulak), Sharmin Zaman and Tahmid Ritu invited artworks and photographs through the Internet and the enthusiastic response of professionals and amateurs resulted in this exhibition. A total of 234 artists and photographers from USA, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Lebanon, Turkey, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh participated in the event.
The first artwork welcoming the spectator is the “Magic Box” by Md. Aloptogin. It is a composition of three pillars of three cubes each with three faces. On the left, a wood relief work “Faces” by Faruk Ahmed Mollah leads the way. The exhibition was a grand extravaganza of oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas, water colours and some ink drawings.
Sharmin Gias Sarna has imprisoned beauty in vibrant colours- red,yellow and black. Her painting “Beauty” shows only the torso of a woman and the colours express the vitality jubilantly. This was her fourth exhibition and yet as an amateur she has received accreditation. An embryo-the falling angel by Ayesha Hassan (Pakistan) is a captivating depiction of an embryo in red against a background of black. “Agony-1 and 2” by Sharmin Zaman is an expression of the stress and sufferings of women in shades of blue and black. To her, women are not just epitomes of beauty, their inner turmoil is what attracts Sharmin more.
Shahjahan Ahmed Bikash and Kiriti Ranjan Biswas have both indulged in portraits- Sheikh Mujibur Rahman “Thinker” by Bikash and Quazi Nazrul Islam- “Bidrohi Nazrul” by Biswas are two amazing pieces of work in oil.
Shahed Ashiqur's “Maa” shows only part of a woman's head from the rearview looking at three playful children. Like a guardian angel she watches over her precious ones.
Arif Husayn's “Third World Child' depicts a mere boy against a blurred background heaving up a bag filled with whatever precious “gems” he had collected, perhaps he would be selling those for a plate of rice and dal.
Tariq Mohammad captures a strange serene happiness in his “Play” through the shadowy figures of some boys and girls, arms extended skywards against a wall bathed in light of the setting sun.
“Submission” by Lutfar Rahman Nirjhar is a picture in a local village masjid where devotees are in a sajda position. A negative print brings out an eye catching water colour effect.
"Loneliness" by Md. Siban Ahnaf is quite a masterpiece. A bottle of French brandy and a lone flickering wax candle leaves the spectator in no doubt of the hollowness and emptiness the photographer is trying to convey.
Quamrul Abedin's “Jatra-Journey” shows only the feet of an old woman adorned in slippers, one in the act of stepping forward with a travelling bag by the side. Perhaps it is a journey to one of her beloved children now living their own lives in the far corners of the country.
“Che” by Mohammad Arifuzzaman is a photograph of a drawing of the revolutionary Che in red on a pillar between two windows and heavily graffitied walls.
“Gaza-1” and “Gaza-2” are two collages with an eye in the centre of the canvas surrounded by bulletins and gruesome photos of humanity crushed under spiteful revenge, dreams shattered in the blink of an eye. Sadia Hussain Ether reaches out through her works and wakes us up to the pain and sufferings around us.
There are 34 paintings by children. Splashes of green and shades of blue- it's a total explosion of colours bringing out the thoughts of the children- no sarcasm, no pain in this corner of the gallery.
Besides these, remarkable landscapes adorn the walls of the gallery. Tapestries and wood cutworks have made their point too. Sculptures in the centre of the gallery attract the onlookers. “Death of Innocence” by Shyamal Chandra Sarker shows a metal hand gripping a flying bird.
For Nawsabah Noor it is only the second exhibition and two of her photos are on display in the gallery. “On the other side of the window” shows a small girl selling flowers in the rain, the photo being taken from the inside of a car glass window. Nawsabah explains what an irony it is to have a glass pane separate such fates- a girl going Eid shopping and another selling in the rain for a livelihood. Her “Memory” is a story unsaid. The picture was taken in Narinda Christian Graveyard with a withering garland hanging from a statuette on a tomb. The flowers expressing the love of the dear ones wither, but the memory lingers on.
The exhibition was a wonderful display of colours and emotions. Amatuer as well as professional artists and photographers have found a neutral platform for their ingenious arts and crafts. The exhibition was definitely a treat for our eyes, sore from the pc monitors and TV screens.
(R) thedailystar.net 2009