What can be expected from a radical shifting between two different forms of expression? Art has the very power to fuel enthusiasms over such debates. And artist Golam Kibria is one those very feted ones who has spontaneously taken part in such debates. Not only has he treaded on two different fields but also has made it justifiable to use art as means of practical usage. On April 1, this artist more commonly known as a painter, commenced his first experience with utilising art for everyday life. At the Gallery no. 3, Department of National Arts, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy an exhibition under the title "Banglar Shari, Bangalir Shari" is on until the 9th of April. Cultural Minister Asaduzzaman Noor; Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Media Advisor to the Prime Minister; Liaquat Ali Lucky, director general of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy were present at the inauguration of the exhibition among others.
The exhibition hosts nearly a thousand different designs of Saris crafted with Batik and free-hand compositions. Kibria himself is the progenitor of the vivacious designs which he worked on tirelessly for more than nine months prior to the start of the exhibition. The Saris are made from cotton. This traditional garment of Bengali ladies is popular for beautifying ladies of the sub-continent for centuries. Indeed Saris have enjoyed a distinct place in Indian history for marking out its ladies from the rest of the world by imbibing a unique charm of aristocracy and appeal. Kibria has made no mistake to recognise this fact as he has dispensed with himself enough to magnify the allure of this fact.
Sari is worn by ladies of all ages, classes and locality; yet in each of its different vicinity it has different appearances. But Kibria's depiction of Saris in almost all its diversities puts each of the appearances no less striking than the other. Class differences and differences of all other sorts prevalent in society and ladies of different statuses apparently have found no room in Kibria's creative venture.
Thespian Kamal Lohani, one of the key proponents of the exhibition has reflected that Kibria's endeavours have aptly added to the multidimensional use of Saris in Bengali societies.
Richness of Bengali saris is dominated by Jamdani, Moslin, Tangail among other different sub-categories. But Kibria has proved through his works that Batik and direct hand-made composition can also carve a niche for itself for the future progress of this elegant garment.
Golam Kibria grew up in Feni and tasted artistry for the first time while taking a degree for Fine Arts at the present Government Art College in Chittagong. He then went on to complete his bachelor's and master's degree from Rajshahi University. He has since taken part in a number of group and solo art exhibitions across the country. His interest in Saris developed during very early periods of his life. He witnessed varied use of the garment apart from as a ware. He recalls how it was used to help a lady suffering from labour pains during the tumultuous year of 1971 and eventually to bring about a newborn. Kibria hopes that his current exhibition will redeem the reduced prominence of Saris which may still resist the onslaught of western trends for years to come.
Kibria has high name in Sari industry as he regularly contributes to fashion houses like Aarong, Banglar Mela, Nipun, Boishakhi, Kay Kraft etc. Kibria is looking to come up with a similar sort of exhibition next year in April. This second Sari exhibition is likely to include Panjabi, the traditional ware for Bangladeshi men.