Dhaka, July 21 (UNB) – The 23rd edition of National Art Exhibition concluded at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Sunday, with a closing ceremony held at the venue, the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy or BSA’s National Art Gallery.
The concluding ceremony was chaired by BSA Director Liaquat Ali Lucky. Dhaka University’s Fine Arts faculty professor Mostafizul Haque was the keynote speaker.
Art critics and artists Mostafa Zaman and Shaon Akand shared and explained their critical overview on the overall exhibition and the artworks selected for the event. Prior to that, all the artists whose works were exhibited were awarded with certificates at the event.
The 23rd edition of this exhibition featured a total of 322 artworks by 310 artists, selected from 850 applicants. During the 20-day exhibition, total 159 paintings, 45 sculptures, 50 print illustrations, 17 craftworks, 8 pottery-crafts, 37 architectural and video arts and 7 performance art pieces were on display and received critical acclaim.
Started on 1st July, this three week- exhibition attracted a great number of crowds this year. This biennale had been a regular event arranged by BSA since 1975.
Berlin, Jul 21 (AP/UNB) — U.S. President Donald Trump said he spoke with Sweden's prime minister Saturday about jailed rapper A$AP Rocky and "offered to personally vouch for his bail," a hollow offer in a criminal justice system that doesn't include bail.
Trump tweeted that during "a very good call" with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, he also "assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk." The platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated artist has been in custody since early this month over an alleged fight.
While not an option in Sweden, bail is common in the United States. A defendant is allowed to post an amount of money set by the court to guarantee the defendant will appear for trial if he or she is freed pending those proceedings.
Urged on by the first lady and celebrities including Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, the president had said in a Friday tweet that he would intervene to try to free Rocky, whose real name is Rakim May.
"Our teams will be talking further, and we agreed to speak again in the next 48 hours!" Trump wrote Saturday after speaking with Lofven.
The prime minister's press secretary, Toni Eriksson, confirmed hours later that Lofven and Trump had a conversation that "was friendly and respectful and lasted about 20 minutes."
Lofven "made certain to emphasize the complete independence of the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts," Eriksson said in a statement. "He underlined that in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings."
The two leaders may have a follow-up call, "but nothing has been booked or planned," she said.
Lofven had issued a statement earlier Saturday saying he would be glad to speak with Trump about A$AP Rocky's detention but giving the same warning about his government's unwillingness to interfere.
"I understand that President Trump has a personal interest in the case," the prime minister said before they spoke. "He has expressed the desire for a conversation with me, which is certainly positive."
Rocky has been behind bars while Swedish police investigate the fight in Stockholm he allegedly was in before appearing at a music festival. Videos published on social media appear to show a person being violently thrown onto the ground by Rocky. A defense lawyer has said it was self-defense.
Other recording artists have spoken on his behalf, including Sean "Diddy" Combs, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Nicki Minaj and Post Malone.
Los Angeles, Jul 21 (AP/UNB) — Universal says it will release two new "Halloween" films, including one with the ominous title "Halloween Ends."
The studio said Friday that the first of the films, "Halloween Kills," will be released in 2020 and the second film will come in 2021.
A teaser video includes the voice of Jamie Lee Curtis, who starred in the original 1978 film and last year's blockbuster sequel, "Halloween." The video states the saga of Curtis' character, Laurie Strode, and villain Michael Myers "isn't over."
Universal says "Halloween Kills" will be released on Oct. 16, 2020, and "Halloween Ends" will arrive Oct. 15, 2021.
Last year's film set records and earned $253.5 million worldwide.
Curtis is also serving as a producer on the films, which are being overseen by Blumhouse Productions.
Kiev, Jul 20 (AP/UNB) — A Darth Vader costume, playground equipment, pastries and boxes of food all are part of an exhibit at Ukraine's National History Museum displaying the colorful behavior and sometime-questionable practices that characterize the country's elections.
The exhibition, called "The Museum of Election Trash" was put together ahead of Sunday's snap parliamentary elections.
Unlike elections in neighboring Russia, campaigns in Ukraine tend to be lively, and the seriousness of some candidates is open to question.
One of those in this year's election is Darth Viktorovich Vader, who is running for a seat in Odessa. This is only the latest appearance of the Star Wars villain — another Darth Vader ran for president in 2014.
The Star Wars theme continues this year with the election being widely called "Battle of the Clones," a reference to the fact that many candidates are mimicking the still-popular recently elected President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his Servant of the People party.
At least 86 candidates have listed in their bios that they are a "Servant of the People" though they have nothing to do with the president's party. And eight Zelenskiys are running — admittedly it is a fairly common name.
Though Zelenskiy, a former TV comic who won by a landslide in April to become president, is expected to win handsomely, he has recorded a video statement, urging voters to be careful not to vote for the copycats.
Election officials just shrug their shoulders.
"The law unfortunately has no restrictions for those who are trying to confuse the voters," says Volodymyr Vyrva, spokesman for the Central Election Commission. "There's nothing we can do."
The "electoral trash" exhibit also highlights candidates' efforts to influence voters through gifts. The items include colorful equipment for a town playground that one candidate provided before an election, along with pastries and boxes of foodstuffs handed out to voters.
Museum employee Yulia Reshitko says such bribery will remain a feature of Ukrainian elections so long as millions of people struggle to make ends meet. The latest trend is providing free tickets to pop gigs or classical music concerts.
"People were happy with the food boxes before," she said.
Zelenskiy's successful transformation has encouraged others. Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, for example, is the leader of the new Golos party — and arguably the nation's most beloved rock star.
"Political extravaganza is part of the Ukrainian tradition where politicians have often resorted to various attention-grabbing antics," says Kiev-based political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko. "But the extravaganza does not always produce good results."
In 2010, a western Ukrainian man who changed his last name to "Protyvsikh" which translates into English as "Against Everyone" ran for president and won just 0.2 percent of the vote.
Beijing, Jul 20 (AP/UNB) — Veteran Hong Kong actor Simon Yam was stabbed in the stomach Saturday while attending an event in southern China, with police saying his injuries were not life-threatening. The motive was unclear.
A suspect was detained following the attack in the Zhongshan Huoju Development Zone in Guangdong province, police said.
The 64-year-old actor underwent a minor operation at a hospital in Zhongshan city, his manager Lester Mo said.
"He was stabbed in the tummy area and also got a cut on his right hand," Mo said.
He was still being treated for injuries to the four fingers of his right hand.
Yam, who is also known by his Chinese name Yam Tat-wah, has appeared in more than 125 movies and 40 television series. He played the villain Chen Lo in the 2003 Hollywood film "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life."