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      Volume 11 |Issue 48| December 07, 2012 |


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My Daughter's Cot, stainless steel, 2012.

Stepping Beyond Boundaries

Fayza Haq

Being an artist who keeps stepping beyond boundaries, Tayeba Lipi is easily bored. She needs to constantly re-invent herself and find new projects to pursue. As a curator and co-founder of Britto she is always in search of subjects that will interest the viewer.

Bizarre and the Beautiful, stainless steel
made rack,

Right now she is off to Nepal to curate an international exhibition. She's been to Nepal before, to Ireland, England, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Myanmar, Turkey, and China. “We went to it inspired by our network and Mahbub presented a paper there, triangle-based, as we belong to a triangular trust,” says Tayeba adding: “I was fortunate to be able to go to all the parts of the Indian sub-continent including New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and the south of India."

hangers and razor blades, 2011.

She's been to Europe for the Venice Biennale, where she had an entry. Full of energy and aplomb, she is confident about the way she and her husband Mahbub are taking their organisation, Britto, to new heights. Sitting in the Britto office in Green Road, surrounded by black on white sketches of reptiles, animals, birds and mankind, one feels like one has come to a strange new world of fine arts, where video is mixed up with sketches, paintings and sculpture. She has also used razor blades in not only her political creations in Pakistan, using 3,500 razors in each creation.

Tayeba talks about the miniature work workshop Britto held and commented that it had been a huge success. Wasim Ahmed came twice, and in Dhaka there were well-known artists participating such as Fareha Zeba, Naima Haque and Jahan Nupur.

The most successful workshop that she held was in Old Dhaka, titled 'One Square Mile', which dealt with the issue of environment. There were 40 artists from different trades such as photographers and architects, like Rizvana, who works on environmental issues.

Tayeba says, “We dealt with established artists like Rokeya Sultana and we handled buildings, pottery and many other things like old cinema houses. The main issue was environment and community projects, and even the students and shopkeepers were involved in it. Lots of artists were interested in it, dealing with local communities, especially students and members of the community around Old Dhaka streets. Artists like Mahbubur Rahman, Imran Hussain Piplu, and Kamrun Zaman Shadheen worked for two months. The artists were free to do whatever they wished to do. If artists drew on the wall, there could be someone who would want to redraw it. The other artists could add or subtract from the main subject.”

Taking Apart, stainless steel, rose, tampon,
paint and etc, 2012. (detail below)
Love Bed, stainless steel, 2012.

Tayeba mentions that they also hosted residencies for German, Indian and Nepali artists, who did their own projects. The German artists did performance projects related to the Dhanmondi Lake, and Tayeba worked with nine other artists. Parnab Mukharjee, the Indian artist, came to do a series of performances with the central theme being Mahatma Gandhi. “It was a curatorial show and at the end of the day he had a series of performances. We had the Indonesian and Nepalese artists, putting together photographs and choosing colours from what their eyes saw before them. The Nepali artists did a video installation as well. All these the viewers found interesting.”

Asked about what she aimed at doing in Nepal, Tayeba says that she is going to be the curator of the Nepalese Art Festival. There will be 35 artists participating from all over the world. The opening will be on December 25 and will last for three days.

“As regards to many of my trips to Europe, like to Norway, I went just to see the paintings in the museums.” Britto is also curating The Kunst Plaai Festival in the Netherlands, where more than 70 organisations from all over the world will be participating.

Asked as to what she likes most about Britto, Tayeba Lipi says that it is the ceaseless effort. “We don't stop. Come what may, we keep going,” says the artist. “We have all the freedom on what we focus.”


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