Contemporary art and artists of Chittagong were analysed through a speech at the Dhaka Art Centre, Dhanmondi in the capital on Monday.
Art scholar Palash Bhattacharya delivered the keynote speech at the programme organsied by Chittagong-based art organisation Jog Alternative Art Space as a part of their ongoing art exhibition
titled Bakshirhaat at the centre.Bhattacharya informed that the practice of contemporary art in Chittagong was initiated in 1992 with a workshop conducted by German artist Rothmam. The workshop was attended by Dhali Al Mamoon, Dilara Begum Jolly, Nilufar Zaman and other Chittagong based artists who later on practiced different styles of contemporary arts like performance art and installation.
Later an organisation titled Shilpy Sammanoy was formed to popularise comtemporary art but unfortunately the organisation shut down in 2001.
Bhattacharya also informed that right now several art organisations like Jog Alternative Art Space, Porapara Arts, Santaran, Yapree are active in Chittagong besides the Faculty of Fine Arts of Chittagong University. Palash Bhattacharya later on described several installation and performance arts by various Chittagong-based artists to demonstrate contemporary art scenario in the city.
Noted artist Dhali Al Mamoon’s installation art Sanjoy was created in 1998. Mamoon created the art in memory of one of his students named Sanjoy who died after being assaulted by religious extremists.
Another important work of Mamoon was Water is Innocent, an installation art protesting the water pollution caused by Electricity plans in the hill tracts of Chittagong. The artwork reveals a few headless swans swimming on water coloured red like blood.
Dilara Begum Jolly’s untitled installation, on the other hand, depicted the body parts of a girl. Through the artwork, Jolly revealed the miserable struggles of the Biranganas during the war of independence. Nilufar Zaman’s installation art titled Protidiner Prokritir Taal Betaal was also showcased at the programme. The installation art demonstrated a small cottage on sand. Zaman protested against the road accidents occurring because of carelessness of the drivers through the artwork. Zaman’s installation was shown at the Chittagong branch of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Bhattacharya also revealed artist Tanveer Parvez’s work titled One article for Mother. Created in 1999, the artwork depicted natural sceneries portrayed on a piece of white cloth situated among trees.
Artist Joydeb Roaja, who belongs to a small ethnic community of the hill tracts of Chittagong, revealed the need for preservation of the heritages of small ethnic communities through his performance art titled Running Root. Presented in Chittagong Shilpakala Academy, the art includes Roaja wearing a mask and dancing to the songs of those communities. In the evening, the artists of Bakshirhaat shared their experiences and feelings about their artworks on display at the exhibition.
-With New Age input