Finance Minister AMA Muhith inaugurated the 22nd National Art Exhibition 2017, organised by BSA on Wednesday, July 26. Renowned instrumentalists played beautiful melodic orchestration until the chief guest entered the auditorium of National Art Gallery of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Muhith, also an eminent art connoisseur and patron, said, “The journey of our fine art started maintaining a high standard thanks to the noble initiatives of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, Patua Quamrul Hassan, Safiuddin Ahmed and others. We have ably held that standard and made our artistic efforts widespread. The connotations of fine art help us flourish our refine taste that is imperative in our national life.”
One of the special guests, renowned artist Syed Jahangir shared his memories of holding the maiden National Art Exhibition in 1975. He also appreciated the artistic efforts by the contemporary generations and urged the Cultural Affairs Ministry, BSA authorities and others to buy artworks to inspire artists.
In reply, another special guest Asaduzzaman Noor, the Cultural Affairs minister, mentioned that they have started buying artworks and plan to continue buying in the coming years. “The participation of a large number of artists and appreciation by art aficionados is on the rise,” he said.
Secretary to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Md Ibrahim Hossain Khan also attended the event as special guest. Liaquat Ali Lucky, DG, BSA, presided over the programme while director of Fine Art Department of BSA, Md Muniruzzaman delivered welcome address.
This exhibition is showcasing 384 artworks (265 paintings, 63 sculptures, 47 installations including nine videos and nine new media works) by 332 artists.
To inspire artists in fine art practices, BSA handed over 10 awards to the artists.
Md. Harun-Ar-Rashid Tutul bagged the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Award (best award amongst all media) for his marvellous work “In Memory of Aylan Kurdi”. Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian child who washed up on the shores while attempting to escape the bloody war – his photo becoming an international symbol of global refugee crisis - bears the testimony harsh time of war, aggression and occupation of present world. Tutul, having twins of Aylan's age was struck by the tragedy and expressed his strong feelings in an artistic way preparing his outstanding video installation work, engaging both his twins and Aylan as its central theme. He received taka two lakhs, a certificate and a crest.
For the best media works “Redeeming Space-1” (Printmaking); “Hurdles Run” (Sculpture); “Hunger and Full Moon” (New Media) and “Melody of Carnage” (Painting), Anisuzzaman Anis, Shyamal Chandra Sarker, Uttam Kumar Roy and Anisuzzaman Sohel received the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Honourable Mention Awards respectively. They received taka 1 lakh, a certificate and a crest each.
Sourav Chowdhury for his delicate print titled “Eternal Existence-30”received Bengal Foundation Award (Taka 1 lakh, a certificate and a crest). Ruhul Amin Tarek bagged AB Bank Award (Taka 50,000, a certificate and a crest) for his fascinating print titled “Complexity of Time and Reality-22”. Kamruzzaman received Bhasha Shainik Gaziul Haque Award (Taka 50,000, a certificate and a crest) for his print “Restoration-2”; while Kamal Uddin and Shuvo Ghosh received Begum Azizunnesa Award (Taka 25,000, a certificate and a crest) and Dipa Haque Award (Taka 20,000, a certificate and a crest) respectively.
Exhibited artworks on media like printmaking, sculpture and new media are high standard while the quality of paintings at the show has fallen a bit flat, according to Nisar Hossain, Dean, Faculty of Fine Art, DU. Yet, some deserving paintings like the outstanding contemporary work “Pieces of Accident” by Sahid Kazi was not counted for award while Kamal Uddin's award winning painting “Tradition-2” appears to be a copy of traditional sora chitra of Bandura Kolakopa.
On behalf of the jury committee eminent artist Syed Abul Barq Alvi and Md. Harun-Ar-Rashid Tutul, on behalf of the award winners, spoke at the event.
The objective of this exhibition is to bring together artists belonging to different age groups, working in different mediums and techniques. The event has also become a platform, encouraging exchange of ideas between artists, critics and art enthusiasts.
The exhibition, open from 11am to 8pm daily except Friday (when it is open 3pm to 8pm), will conclude on August 14.