Asian Art Biennale goes beyond borders | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 17, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 17, 2016

Asian Art Biennale goes beyond borders

Press meet at Shilpakala Academy

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) is going to organise the monthlong 17th Asian Art Biennale 2016 at National Art Gallery of BSA, from December 1. Apart from artists of Asia and Asia-Pacific countries, painters, sculptors, photographers and artists from others branches of arts from 51 countries of the world are taking part in the art fiesta. A total of 171 foreign artists and 560 Bangladeshi artists have submitted their artworks. For the first time, the organisers have declared open call for online artworks submission globally. Asian Art Biennale is the pioneering art biennale of Asia and one of the forerunner art biennales of the world.

A press conference was held yesterday at National Art Gallery auditorium of BSA where renowned artist Dr. Farida Zaman, convener of artwork selection committee, along with other artwork selection committee members: noted artists Kalidas Karmakar; Professor Toyomi Hoshina, former dean and vice president of Tokyo University of Arts, Japan; Professor Mohammed Eunus, Dr. Mohammad Iqbal Ali and architect Mustapha Khalid Palash spoke at the press meet. Liaquat Ali Lucky, Director General of BSA, hosted the event elaborating various aspects of the biennale. The event's only absentee from the selection committee was Professor Nisar Hossain, Dean, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka.

“The 17th biennale will be exceptional and held at a large scale with regard to artists' participation from all the continents. Besides, many international artists and art critics from international media will join the biennale,” said Liaquat Ali Lucky.

“For the first time, we have invited Professor Toyomi Hoshina, a foreign artist, to participate in the artwork selection process for the biennale. This will help us keep our selection process international standard and fair,” said Farida Zaman.

“My classmate participated in the maiden Asian Art Biennale. The image of that fond memory still works in my mind and I was eagerly looking forward to participate in this prestigious art biennale. Japanese artists earnestly want to participate in Asian Art Biennale and the top level Japanese artists, who once participated in this biennale as young artists and received grand awards, always importantly keep their participation's portfolio in their personal biography,” said Toyomi Hoshina.

“Though it is named Asian Art Biennale, artists from all over the world can now take part in the biennale as it has been opened worldwide. Bangladesh takes pride in organising such a biennale that has already created a good image globally. We are planning to organise an art exhibition with the works of our old masters –Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, Quamrul Hassan, SM Sultan, Safiudding Ahmed – at Bangladesh National Museum (BNM). Besides, we are planning to arrange art collectors' corner, children's art corner and a three-day international art camp. We hope this biennale will have many innovative dimensions,” said Kalidas Karmakar.

“Asian Biennale is a big platform for Bangladeshi young artists as they are getting the opportunity to take part in this biennale in Bangladesh. BSA deserves credits of successfully holding the biennale for the last 34 years. Despite recent emergence of sporadic extremist activities, we have got immense response from the foreign artists and hope to welcome them in the upcoming biennales in a large number. We hope they will participate in the biennale in person. Besides, both International and Bangladeshi artists will join in the International Art Camp and their artworks will be displayed and preserved in the galleries of BNM and BSA,” said Professor Mohammed Eunus.

“There is a great reputation of Asian Art Biennale in Japan. They treat this oldest art biennale of Asia as a sublime art initiative. The image of Asian Art Biennale is wonderful worldwide. Many other Asian countries started biennale imitating this one but failed to keep continuity,” said Mohammad Iqbal.

Gigantic preoperational works are underway at BSA ahead of the mega event, while Toyomi Hoshina is satisfied with Bangladesh's secure environment at the biennale venue and the capital. The selection committee has already started selecting the best artworks, and will conclude the process on October 19.  

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