Research-based art exhibition "River Delta" has begun at La Galerie of the Alliance Française de Dhaka (AFD). River and Delta Research Center Chairman Mohammad Azaz attended the opening ceremony as the special guest Friday. River Delta is the first phase of an ongoing five-year study on Bangladesh's rivers. The exhibition is curated by Juel A Rob. Artists Apu Raj Bongshi, Mohosin Kabir, Shimul Datta, Najmun Nahar Keya, Promotesh Das Pulak and Mohammad Hasanur Rahman are participating in the exhibition. Since Bangladesh is a riverine country, a large part of its food chain, trade, communication, and livelihood are river centric. Many communities are directly connected to rivers. The ebb and flow of the rivers weave the stories of many communities, including fishermen, river gipsies, washermen, salt cultivators, sailors, and shrimpers. However, after the passage of 51 years, Bangladesh has started to take precautions regarding the proper maintenance of water resources, said the AFD. So, it is very important to create awareness at all levels of society, to have constructive discussions, discharge civic and state responsibilities, and to prepare for the next step by studying different types of case studies, it added. "In that case, it is very important to understand the internal or international political context. Many issues, including complexities within the country, river encroachment; protection of river environment, aquatic life and fauna diversity, international power politics, protection of potable water bodies, ocean and river governance, are involved here," the AFD said.
Why build a rooftop water tank in the shape of a Teletubby? Or go to the effort of installing a replica of the Eiffel Tower atop a semi-abandoned building? It’s often difficult to explain the proliferation of unusual artwork dotting the vast urban belt of some 11 million people outside Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires. In this immense swath of tree-lined neighborhoods co-existing with areas of chaos — apparently built with little if any urban planning — many residents have erected grandiose, eyebrow-raising surprises. The creators are usually construction workers or shop owners, although some artists are seeking to leave their signature in their neighborhood. Pedro Flores defines the outskirts of Buenos Aires as a “post-apocalyptic paradise” close to the capital’s center. He and two friends run an Instagram account, “The Walking Conurban,” a play on the words “conurbano bonaerense,” as the roughly 40 municipalities are known in Spanish. The page publishes images daily of these suburbs, often tinged with a bit of magical realism: a dinosaur on the dirt streets of a poor neighborhood; two Minions dolls greeting people from a home; a Statue of Liberty in the middle of a pasture. Here are some of the works The Associated Press visited. THE EIFFEL TOWER On a rooftop at the corner of a street in the town of La Tablada stands a replica of the Eiffel Tower. Miguel Muñoz, 58, proudly explains how his father, a blacksmith, built it out of leftover iron with the guidance of brochures from the French embassy. “He gave it to me on my birthday, that’s why I don’t sell it,” Muñoz said.The tower is a symbol in the neighborhood. “I took it down once to paint it and the neighbors went crazy thinking someone had stolen it,” Muñoz said. Read: Argentina keen to exporting soybean, fertilizer to Bangladesh THE KETTLE On the terrace of a two-story house stands a large water tank in the shape of a kettle, like the ones used by Argentines to make their beloved tea-like infusions known as mate. It was built in 1957 by Italian immigrant Victorio Smerilli and some relatives. “They decided to do it as a replica of the ‘Victor’ kettle they sold in a store located downstairs in this same house,” said Gustavo Smerilli, the immigrant’s grandson. Adriana Paoli runs an art workshop in the building and she is pushing a project to restore the kettle. “If I say, ‘I have my workshop in the kettle,’ everyone knows the place,” she said. STATUE OF LIBERTY In the municipality of General Rodríguez, behind a humble house, a replica of a Statue of Liberty rises above a field where horses and cows graze. The 15-meter- (49-foot-) high structure is a leftover from the “Liberty Motocross” circuit operated there years ago, the caretaker of the property, Pablo Sebastián, said. GORILLA OF THE BOAT HOUSE Sitting peacefully on a rock, next to a door of a boat-shaped house in the town of San Miguel, the gorilla Pepe drinks from a mate gourd. The creator of the house and the gorilla statue is sculptor and painter Héctor Duarte, who died in 2020. Duarte’s family has received offers to buy the cement sculpture, but they refuse to sell. BUSTS OF EVITA AND JUAN PERÓN In the patio of the same house where Pepe the gorilla presides, Duarte’s busts of Juan Domingo Perón, three-time president of Argentina, and his wife, Eva María Duarte, can be seen embracing. Duarte’s family lends the sculptures out for official ceremonies. MONTE GRANDE WATER TANK The enormous water tank in Monte Grande’s main plaza became a work of art in 2020 when, at the municipality’s request, artist Leandro García Pimentel painted a mural on it depicting fire, earth, air and water. The water tank has become a meeting point and public ceremonies, and newlyweds pose in front of it for photos. Read: Bangladesh, Argentina to strengthen economic ties; MoU on FOC signed DINOSAUR On a street in front of bricklayer Daniel Niz’s house, in the poor Sol de Oro neighborhood in Ezeiza, a dinosaur greets visitors. “My son wanted a rubber (dinosaur) and it was expensive, so I decided to make this out of recycled things and materials,” Niz said. He previously had the dinosaur on a patio inside his house but he decided to put it outside so people could take photos of the 1.2-ton structure. HAND OF GOD WATER TANK A water tank made to look like a large hand holding a soccer ball stands on the roof of a house in the La Cumbre neighborhood on the outskirts of La Plata, recalling the famous goal Diego Maradona scored with his hand against England in the 1986 World Cup. It was designed by a deceased mason who was well known to locals. COLOSSEUM, TOWER OF PISA and ARCH OF TRIUMPH Replicas of these European masterworks in the municipality of Ituzaingó were carried out by artist and architect Rubén Díaz, who is considered a “generator of fantasies.” Díaz’s goal is in part to let his neighbors “travel” to places they would normally never see. The Colosseum, which is 200 square meters (2,153 square feet) and 8 meters (26 feet) high, recreates the Roman amphitheater. The Argentine version of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris is 11 meters (36 feet) high and has the late comedian Carlitos Balá immortalized on one side. Meanwhile, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is located in the front garden of a private property. Díaz has proposed building the Great Wall of China in 2023. HOMER’S GRILL Homer Simpson, the father from the TV series “The Simpsons,” smiles and holds up his thumb from atop the aluminum roof of a restaurant in the town of Ciudadela. On the front of the restaurant, which serves cuts of grilled meat, is the silhouette of Maradona running with a ball. TELETUBBY WATER TANK Po, the red Teletubby with the circular antenna, smiles as she surveys a long and busy highway. But Po isn’t just there for decoration — she is the lid of a building’s water tank in the town of Ciudadela. Read: Argentina plans to open Dhaka embassy Ignacio Castro, who rents the apartment just below the tank, said that when he was about to move in he found the head of the character of the famous children’s show in the kitchen. He gave it to his uncle but the owner of the building demanded it be returned. FIGURES OF IMMIGRANTS Also in Ciudadela, some 20 human-scale figures appear in a row in the entrance garden to the home of Antonio Ierace, an Italian immigrant who arrived in Argentina in 1949 and worked as a bricklayer. As a hobby, he designed statues dedicated to migrants, including a man carrying two suitcases, and homages to workers such as hairdressers and blacksmiths. HOUSE WITH THE TRANSFORMERS In the town of Adrogué, gardener Juan Acosta cuts the grass in his yard where there are six robots that resemble Transformers from the 1980s U.S. television program. Passersby can see the Transformers from the sidewalk. “Curious people take photos daily,” Acosta said of the robots made from recycled materials.
The Japanese printmaking exhibition "Photographic Images and Matter: Japanese Prints of the 1970s," which began recently, is still underway at the Liberation War Museum in Dhaka. Divided into two sections, the exhibition is showcasing "The Age of Photographic Images," and "Images of Autonomous Matter," giving visitors a sense of Japanese art trends in the 1970s. The two-week exhibition is displaying the award-winning works of 14 distinguished printmakers and professors from Japan. It is also presenting a wide range of palettes, styles, and traditions of Japanese printmaking. The exhibition is jointly organised by the Embassy of Japan in Bangladesh and the Japan Foundation. Read: Japan Foundation print exhibition to be held at Liberation War Museum State Minister for Culture KM Khalid inaugurated the exhibition recently. Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki was present. During the opening ceremony, Ambassador Naoki conferred the Japanese foreign minister's commendation to Professor Syed Abul Barq Alvi of the Department of Printmaking of the University of Dhaka for his contribution to printmaking and role in promoting Bangladesh-Japan ties. The exhibition will continue till September 29.
A special 3-day visual art show titled 'STIGMATIZED DAY' began at Nandan Mancha of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on Sunday, commemorating the August 21st grenade attack massacre. Fine Arts department of BSA organized the event with the support of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Curated by artist Abhijit Chowdhury and co-curated by Sujon Mahahbub and Shubhra Talukder, the performance art programme is showcasing the graphic representation of the brutal Dhaka grenade attack which took place at an anti-terrorism rally organised by the Bangladesh Awami League on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital on August 21st, 2004. Read:'BRAVEHEART’: Gallery Cosmos pays rich artistic tribute to Bangabandhu
The Goethe-Institut Bangladesh and Drik Picture Library inaugurated an international travelling exhibition at the Drik Gallery in Dhaka's Panthapath Friday to showcase the violence of gender constructions, and patriarchal forms of aggression on more vulnerable bodies. Curated by Vidisha Fadescha, "Let no one mistake us for the fruit of violence" is part of the Goethe-Institut's ongoing M3: Man, Male and Masculinity regional Project which includes Bangladesh and five other institutes in India. Read BSA commemorates August 21 massacre with visual art show
Mahfuz Canvas, a platform for the underprivileged self-taught Bangladeshi artists, is gearing up to host a special overseas exhibition that will offer contemporary painters from this country an opportunity to showcase their artworks in Dubai. The first edition of this exhibition, titled ‘Annual Student Art Show,’ in collaboration with the UAE's largest art community, the Funun Arts Group, is scheduled to take place in the last week of October. This event will showcase numerous artworks based on the theme of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to the organisers. Read 'Rhythmic Abstraction' begins at Alliance Francaise de Dhaka Mahfuz Canvas was founded by internationally acclaimed Bangladeshi artist Mahfuzur Rahman. According to the Funun Arts Group, the organisers are anticipating the participation of students from across the world. They expect to showcase 400 paintings at the event, at least 25 of which will be from Bangladeshi artists. By visiting www.mahfuz.art, Bangladeshi artists can easily register for this event till August 31. Participation for Bangladeshi artists will be funded by Mahfuz Canvas. Read:'BRAVEHEART’: Gallery Cosmos pays rich artistic tribute to Bangabandhu
Bangladeshi Artist Liakat Ali's eighth solo painting exhibition titled "Rhythmic Abstraction" was inaugurated at La Galerie of Alliance Francaise de Dhaka Friday. Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki attended the event as the chief guest. Dhaka University Faculty of Fine Art Professor Mostafizul Haque, former chief whip of Jatiya Sangsad ASM Feroz, and International Crimes Tribunal-1 Prosecutor Md Sultan Mahmud also attended the event as special guests. Read: Curtain rises on Shilpo Bangla Art Exhibition The exhibition is displaying 30 paintings by the artist. Also, Liakat's artworks have been showcased in solo and group exhibitions in Japan, Canada, the UK, the US, and China. He completed his BFA from the China National Fine Arts Academy, Hangzhou, in drawing and painting. "The mood of painting makes the image much more attractive and the music can give a new mood to the images, which can be a new style in the abstract images in the contemporary platform that looks like rhythmic abstraction," he said about the ongoing exhibition. Read BSA commemorates August 21 massacre with visual art show Liakat Ali's art exhibition Rhythmic Abstraction will be open to all till August 13, Monday to Saturday from 3pm to 9pm.
Over the weekend (Friday, Saturday) the artistic event "Letter to the City" was held at Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed Park's library space in Dhaka's Gulshan-2. Dhaka Memory, an experimental collective of artists and architects, hosted this event, with the support of the German Embassy in Dhaka and the Rotary Club of Dhaka Pathfinders. The two-day event featured different activities including book launching and book reading sessions, puppet show, discussion, letter writing, memory gameplay, drawing sessions, and live music. Friday, the special book "Everyday Stories" was launched at the event. The book is an anthology that comprises stories of the everyday struggles and triumphs of six girls from Dhaka's Karail slum.
Fashion consultant Madhuree Sanchita Smrity's jewellery exhibition began at La Galerie, Alliance Française de Dhaka (AFD) Friday. The "Pleasantness: The Story of Madhuree" has been arranged with pieces of jewellery crafted out of seeds from different trees, soils, oysters, joists, conches, pearls and other natural resources along with golds, silvers, steels, irons, coppers, and brasses. Madhuree, now working for fashion house Rang, was born in Jhalakathi. She completed her honours from the Faculty of Fine Art of Dhaka University in 2006. "The Pleasantness: The Story of Madhuree" is Madhuree's first solo jewellery exhibition. It is devoted to her immense interest in finding the beauty of nature, and nature's impact on her life and contemporary thoughts. "The nature that surrounds me is my inspiration. From the beginning of creation, people consciously and subconsciously nurtured nature in different ways. Since childhood, I have been fascinated by nature's beauty, smell and rhythm," the fashion consultant said. Read: Curtain rises on Shilpo Bangla Art Exhibition "Leaves' colour, shapes of roots, ocean waves, riversides, colours of the sky, and the way they change in different seasons moved me. I coloured my work with natural colours as well." "I use seeds with yarns, wooden beads, clays, conches, pearls, coppers, silvers and golds. Seeds are the source of life, the root of all creation. Using seeds with other elements, I convey my love for nature, and want to give life to my creations," Madhuree said. The exhibition will be open to all till July 8, Monday to Saturday, from 3pm to 9pm.
Painter Azmeer Hossain's fifth solo exhibition "The Beckoning Horizon," which began on June 18, is still underway at the Edge Gallery in Dhaka's Gulshan, showcasing an enchanting collection of abstract works. Hosted by Edge, The Foundation, the exhibition features 62 paintings by the artist. Eminent Bangladeshi artists Hamiduzzaman Khan, Mohammad Eunus, Biren Shome, Afrozaa Jamil Konka and others were present at the opening ceremony of the exhibition, which is displaying more than 50 pictures painted in watercolour while the rest of the paintings are made using acrylic and mixed media.