Bangladesh High Commission of Sri Lanka

Let’s celebrate art, let’s contribute to the liberation of our creative imagination. This presentation of contemporary Bangladeshi art shows how contemporary art-scape is evolving by drawing upon diverse cultural elements. The Bangladesh Art Exposition takes place at the J.D.A Perera Gallery from the 17th to the 22nd of March. Check out the interesting facts as to why you should go!

The history of folk art in Bengal dates back a thousand years. Yet, the practice of institutional art in Bangladesh is a relatively recent phenomenon. The first fine arts institution i.e. the Government Institute of Arts, was established in Dhaka in 1948 by Zainul Abedin. Prior to that, Kolkata was at the centre and Dhaka was at the margins of art in Bengal. Abedin himself, went to arts school in Kolkata. In Dhaka he initiated an art movement and the members were later appointed as faculty at the Art Institute that Abedin founded. Fast forwarding to 1980, the first Asian Art Biennale was organized in Dhaka with only 8 participating countries which by now has grown to include close to 50 countries around the world. Bangladesh art keeps moving to art capitals of the world and Bangladeshi artists believe that they have to be modern yet remain grounded in heritage and tradition.

Organized by the High Commission of  Bangladesh to Sri Lanka, Colombo the Bangladesh Art Exposition in Sri Lanka, 2019 creates a space dedicated to artistic practice in creating knowledge and understanding of the cultural social elements through the use of creative representation.

The Bangladesh Art Exposition underlines the commonalities in artistic traditions and trends in the two countries. Apart from the documented history of commonalities between the people of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, ordinary-life elements form a much deeper tapestry of moods and emotions between the two cultures; binding the two cultures in ties beyond trade and commerce. In a more contemporary sense, this Art Exposition should be regarded as opening yet another space where two cultures can paint canvases and deepen the ties between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh Art Exposition will be a space for both Bangladeshi artists including Hashem Khan, Shamsuddhoa, Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Jahangir Hossain, Maqsuda Iqbal Nipa, Priti Ali, Monjur Rashid and Rafi Haque and Sri Lankan artists including, S. H Sarath, Manoranjana Herath, W. Nayanananda, Raja Segar, Channa Ekanayaka, Sudath Abeysekara, Theja Gunawardhana, Gayan Prageeth, Chathuranga Biyagama, J. C Rathnayaka, Chammika Jayawardane and Chathurika Jayani, initiating the intermingling of cultures, exchanging traditions and experience.

J. D. A. Perera, renowned Sri Lankan artist, developed his own extraordinary gifts and became one of the most memorable and influential portraitist to grace Sri Lanka. His style rapidly matured and the grandeur of his figures were unprecedented in painting during his era. JDA’s ability to achieve perfect realism in his paintings made his reputation as a painter robust with posterity. J. D. A. Perera did not start his career as a portraitist but with subjects he chose to experiment upon. The phenomenal drawing ability marvelled even international painters such as British Augustus John. A towering figure in the chronicles of Sri Lankan art, his intellectuality was stamped in his work. One could see the dynamism projected in his paintings. The Gallery was then built – a realization of a  dream of generations of students, named after J. D. A. Perera, the cultural, intellectual and artist of international repute who had established systematic study of Arts in Sri Lanka.

Join this celebration of artists and their works of art, maybe with your friends to a midweek break from the mundane! It will definitely be an inspiration that will make you think, and perceive your life in a different angle while broadening your knowledge and understanding an aspect of the regional art scene. 

ARTRA is Sri Lanka’s Art Magazine exploring curated content on Sri Lanka’s visual art, performance art, applied art and written art. Launched in 2012, ARTRA Magazine is a compact monthly art read providing a comprehensive understanding on Sri Lankan artists, art events, monthly art calendars and the Sri Lankan design landscape. In sum, all you need to know about art in Sri Lanka.

20th March, 2019 Visual Art | Paintings