‘Dhaka Summer: Deo Volente' a two-day art exhibition made its first mark in the capital on the 26th of July, 2017. The exhibition pulled in crowds from all ages as they showcased various ranges of artworks. A total number of 17 artists were part of the exhibition, amongst who, 15 were debuting in the art scene for the first time.
While the entire arrangement consisted of various works belonging to different groups and mediums, it was encouraging to see collaborative exhibitions being arranged in Dhanmondi. Prominent artist Abdus Shakoor Shah, the chief guest, inaugurated the event at the Drik Gallery, while Farida Yasmin, general secretary of the National Press Club, Imdadul Haq Milon, editor of the daily Kaler Kantho and Naem Nizam, editor of the daily Bangladesh Pratidin, attended the ceremony as special guests.
Mahir Abrar, the core organiser, when asked about what made him put this list of artists together, says, "I saw a post on Facebook which was actually an advertisement to sell art. I talked to a few of my artist friends and decided to organise an exhibition -- which basically kicked off with the Dhaka Summer: Deo Volente exhibition."
Interestingly, the event showcased the work of mostly young and new artists namely, Arafat Ahmed Ali, Anupama Biswas, Humayra Jahan, Israt Jahan Treena, Ishika Chowdhury, Rafid Ahnaf, Samira Kamil, Sanjida Tahseen Tahmida Radi, Wadud Kafil, Maleeha Ali, Partho Pratim, Venessa Kaiser and Tareq Kaiser. Most of the pieces were based on oil paint or acrylic, even though some of the pieces did try to define a change within the scene.
"There was a sense of accomplishment amongst the artists, once the event was inaugurated," says Abrar. "There is a huge appetite for art that is not often catered to. I had mothers bringing in their children to inspire them after school and office workers coming after a day of hard work to check out the exhibition."
Young artist, Samira Kamil says, "This exhibition made me feel all the more enthusiastic about practicing art and showcasing my work in Bangladesh! There should be more exhibitions for young artists to express themselves."
Clearly, the Dhaka art scene is slowly taking a shift towards a more impendent market where pop-up art bazaars have otherwise become the new thing. The audience is also very appreciative towards such initiatives.