Viva la art @ DAS 2018
The Dhaka Art Summit (DAS) is an international research and exhibition platform for art and architecture associated with South Asia. This ensemble of artists and their work is something to behold. This event comes every two years, bringing together art lovers from around the world.
This year, DAS was held at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). The corridors were packed with beautiful and artistic masterpieces, ranging from acrylic on canvas to hessian and concrete, filling every inch of BSA. Art pieces from various local and foreign artists expressing diverse cultures and their core elements were on display.
It is next to impossible to even try to comprehend all the artwork in the exhibition. Beginning from the top floor, gliding through the hallway, the first thing catching your eye would be the exhibition of Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts titled Come see the face of destruction.
This is a mock exhibition of the destruction that followed the burning of Chakma villages. It truly captures the intense pain that comes from loss of precious life and property. A wheelchair, once supporting someone, or a motorcycle, helping someone get home to their family, burnt to a crisp.
Another exhibition close by would be a combination of clay and ceramic displayed through a piece, named The Shape of Life After Life. This was a group project -- a collaboration of Sankar Pal, clay artisan, and Shamiyur Rahman Nayan, ceramic artist.
Along with these, there were numerous canvas and paint combos at DAS. A couple of paintings that would demand some serious attention are Hope and Dream. The display is a pair of paintings, put next to each other, of a feminine image on canvas.
The one named Hope shows the subject sitting atop a circular object, blindfolded. This painting has been titled Hope because it can be interpreted that the woman was hoping someone would remove her blindfold and eradicate the implicating darkness, as it is surrounding the background of the painting.
Beside it, the second painting titled Dream was placed. The feminine figure is waving a piece of cloth. The background is similar to the first one; there is only one character in the painting around which the piece was centralised.
However, the stark difference, and the reason that the second painting can be a symbol of dreams, between the two pieces is the use of colour and the visual ambience of birds flying over the feminine figure projecting the dream.
The floor below displays a very different approach to art. Pieces of scrap metal collected from various kinds of vehicles such as motorcycles, trucks, cars etc. were put together and given the shape of three canines titled Hurdless Run.
The display makes it look as if the dogs were on full sprint and in a flash, had frozen the min momentum. Time had stopped still and they were caught mid-run. If you stare at them long enough, you could almost believe that the figurines en metal would come to life at any moment and lunge forward.
Over three hundred artists had sent their artwork for exhibition. More than one hundred and twenty experts of art from all over the world had graced the summit as speakers in sixteen panel discussions.
The gilded corridors of BSA during the Dhaka Art Summit 2018 were ideal to attract a plethora of art lovers. It was truly an once-in-a-lifetime ensemble of renowned artists displaying their muse, passion and culture via their choice of medium of art.
The overwhelming talent on display and artistic aura surrounding the place successfully quenched the art aficionados' thirst to learn and study elements of art, invigorating themselves anew.
Photo: Alex Romario