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Venue: Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts

Alamgir Huque's solo exhibition at the Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts in Dhaka sounds an interesting note in the artistic arena of Bangladesh, as the artist, who was a prominent art activist here some twenty years back, comes home and exhibits his works after a lapse of almost two decades. Born in 1953 in Dhaka, Mr. Alamgir graduated from Dhaka University in 1975 and later in MFA from M S University of Baroda, Gujarat in India. He left Bangladesh in the early 90's and settled in the city of Saskatoon in Canada.

Starting from 8th July this two week long exhibition is showcasing his paintings of the last few years. Done purely in a non-objective format and rendered more or less in an abstract-expressionistic vocabulary this exhibition speaks a thousand words with the stocks of the artist's brush. As the artist says “In my painting, I created a space where living beings form experiences of their own sacrificial process of transformation from one state to another. Images of landscape, which are iconic representations and generations of life forms, are valuable links between growth and decay. The inner images in my paintings are symbolic of emission typical of human cultures throughout times- life, fertility and repose.”

The artist's inspiration is nature itself and he pays his homage to his 'muse' through his creation, it could be imagined that the vast expanse of the Canadian landscape and the lack of locality, as against the densely populated scenario of a small country from which he had migrated. He decided to eliminate objects and images from his canvases and tried to present the essence of his themes with sweeping brushstrokes and textured surfaces.

The artist's abstract work gives an outside impression of a vast landscape seen from a bird's-eye-view. He organizes the element in the landscape with fragments shapes and scattered strokes but unites them by stringing them together with significant lines and directions. His strokes, lines and dots are simultaneously spontaneous and thus display at the same time a briskness of exudation and underlying discipline. All at once Alamgir Huque creates an internal tension between the elements, which perhaps reflects the artist's internal mind. This exhibition will run till July 21st and you are most welcome to experience the “Nature-offerings” in the magnificent hallways of Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts.

Science Fair at Notre Dame College

A new trend in recent years has been the science fairs. Schools and colleges around the city are arranging science fairs at different times of the year. Very few have been successful though. The biggest and most-awaited science fair is organized at the country's leading college Notre Dame. This year the Science Club of NDC has arranged “Premier Bank Notre Dame Science Fair 2009 and 19th General Knowledge Competition” at its premises. To spread the scientific mentality and technological advancement in young minds, this year's science fair was inaugurated on the 16th this month. The opening ceremony was held at the college auditorium and the State Minister for Science, Information and Communication Mr. Yashef Osman attended as the chief guest. The principal of Notre Dame College Father Benjamin Costa presided over the function.

This year students from 39 schools and 27 colleges across the country participated in various events. In this fair the main events were science project displays, general knowledge competitions, physics and math Olympiads, sky observations, web page designing, wall-paper presentations, programming contests, instant speech giving, pseudoku competition etc- informed Abir Shaqran, press secretary of the Notre Dame Science Club.

The science projects displayed this year clearly reflect the mindset and views of the young-adults of the country. There were many projects concerning energy production and saving, environmental hazards and ways to recycle and use and multipurpose uses of wastes. This certainly proves that the future leaders are thinking about the country and the whole world in general.

Talking with the spectators and the participants we found that the main reason for arranging such functions is somewhat fulfilled. The participants certainly did their homework as they proved their theories and concepts with facts and figures. But they were also willing to learn as they took notes of good points from the spectators. They also expressed their reason for participating in such fairs so as to help the country improve. The spectators were also looking to learn from the young scientists and help them in their ambition to build the country.

The organizers are happy with the turnout for this year's fair. Mr. Jishan, secretary of the science club said, “As always the number of students participating is over-whelming. This year's response is forcing us, in a good sense, to arrange an even better one next year. Apart from the science project display, other competitions also gathered enough people.”

The silver lining in the cloud are the youngsters of the country. If they can keep up their inspirations for improving the nation, then we will have fewer things to worry about. Such science fairs surely give us this hope.

By Jawad

Fruit fiesta

On the slightly rainy morning of Monday, July 13, The National Press Club, in collaboration with Bangladesh American Tobacco organized the National Fruit Festival. Through the teamwork of all the press club members and their families this was the third successful National Fruit Festival.

In the festival, amongst others, the following fruits were available- mango, jackfruit, black berry, papaya, pineapple, banana, guava, hog plum, carambola etc. The daylong festival had an opening ceremony in the morning, with speeches from Alan Devi, the managing director of British American Tobacco Bangladesh, Shawkat Mahmood, chairman of National Press Club, Editor Kamal Uddin Sabuj, Editor Kazi Rownak Hossain and Kader Goni Chowdhury from the Fruit Festival Organization Committee.

Inaugurating the event, Shawkat Mahmood echoed the National Press Club's commitment to keeping the national cultural heritage ignited. He mentioned that not everybody has the chance to see, learn about and taste the various different kinds of fruits we have in our own country. This concern is the primary address of this daylong event.

Alan Devi expressed his gratitude at having the opportunity to organize the National Fruit Festival in association with the Press Club. Kamal Uddin specifically thanked every participant for making the festival a success.

After the initial speeches and festivities, while leaving the premises of the beautiful Press Club, a particular incident caught the eye of this reporter. A worn vagabond stood outside the Press Club gates with hands outstretched, presently to be handed a plate full of fruits. In little and big ways the National Fruit Festival proved a success.

By Ahsan Sajid



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