Bangladesh Art Week (BAW) has organised a women-led art exhibition to dignify the female energy on this year's Women's Day. The initiative was taken to enhance the confidence of the female artists for their passion for art.
Within the first eight months of their journey, Bangladesh Art Week has successfully organised three events including the latest 'Ora Egaro Jon'. This exhibition took place at Dhaka Galley in Banani, from March 07 to 14, 2020. The Norwegian Ambassador of Bangladesh, Sidsel Bleken inaugurated the exhibition as the chief guest.
Selima Ahmad, the vice chairperson of Nitol-Niloy Group and the founder and president of Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Runa Khan, founder and executive director of Friendship NGO, Niharika Momtaz, fashion designer and founder of Bangladesh Art Week (BAW) and Mohammed Mohsin, co-founder of Bangladesh Art Week (BAW) and vice chairman of PHP were present at the opening ceremony along with 11 female artists.
Farida Zaman, Rokeya Sultana, Ivy Zaman, Dilara Begum Jolly, Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Preema Nazia Andaleeb, Ayesha Sultana, Tasneem Tariq, Salma Abedin Prtithi, Farzana Hoque and Rumana Rahman-- these eleven artists participated the event prompting the name 'Ora Egaro Jon'. The most remarkable part of this event was the participation of two young and emerging artists Farzana Hoque and Rumana Rahman who had to compete with many established and flourishing artists for their places. A strong jury board comprising veterans like Rafikun Nabi, Pranab Chowdhury and Shishir Bhattacharya made the art selection perfect. Such an opportunity was nothing less than a dream come true for the artists who participated.
The exhibition had brought together diverse range of art forms together. There were painting, photography, installation, videography, sculpture and what not. Hence the co-founder of BAW, Mohammed Mohsin said, "Our event is unique".
Farida Zaman's fishing nets and poles with acrylic on canvas looked like soft clouds of tenderness. Ivy Zaman's sculpture of 'Mother and Child' and the 'Buddha' were worth seeing. Dilara Begum Jolly's 'needle on paper' was a masterpiece depicting the physical and psychological discrimination with women in the gender spectrum. Kanak Chanpa Chakma's artwork with bright blue and yellow narrated the story of tribal people and women who wished to have a better world. Farzana Haque's woodcut rendered her visual points of a woman's existence in society. There were many more like these.
Throughout the event, there were some innovative segments worth mentioning. Like there was an International Women's Day special talk held on March 08 afternoon on 'Role of woman in art practice'. Art critic Moinuddin Khaled hosted the dialogue with four female artists who shared their views and stories of their struggle behind practicing art.
Another segment particularly arranged for the art students was 'Artist Led Tour', where the 11 artists explained the meaning and significance of their artworks to them. A dialogue moderated by writer, blogger and social worker Shabbir Ahsan on 'What Story are you', was another segment where people of different professions like artists, writers, reporters, bankers took part in. The last, ‘Curator led Tour’ by the curator Kehkasha Sabah was for the art lovers and art collectors. The organisers wanted to let people appreciate the art and then own it, so that the piece gets more value.
"Since it is the month of Independence and International Women's Day, we garnished our exhibition with the artworks of 11 women artists of our country to celebrate the womanhood and apotheosize freedom. And I guess we did it right once again," stated Niharika Momtaz.
The organisers were satisfied with the love and response from the audiences.
The writer is currently studying at Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at University of Dhaka.
She can be reached at [email protected]