A way forward in Indo-Bangla cultural exchange | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 27, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 27, 2017

A way forward in Indo-Bangla cultural exchange

In conversation with Adwaita Charan Gadanayak

An exhibition of contemporary Indian prints is on at Gallery No. 6 of the National Art Gallery of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). The show, inaugurated on December 25, will run till January 6. About 65 artists from India are taking part at the exhibition that will become a permanent collection of Indian prints at the National Art Gallery of BSA after the exhibit. Participants of the exhibition include pioneering artistes and faculty members from the New Delhi based National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), India's premier national institution devoted to modern and contemporary visual art practices, and Indian Printmakers Guild which was founded in 1990 to promote the practice of printmaking in India.

In a conversation with The Daily Star, Adwaita Charan Gadanayak, Director General of NGMA, shared many aspects with this correspondent. A new horizon is gleaming with regard to printmaking and artistic practice in general between the two countries. Excerpts:

“We are the same souls and share the same artistic, literary and cultural legacies. The modern art movement that started through the noble initiative by Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath Tagore and all the artists of Shantiniketan, played a pivotal role in shaping modern art movement in this part of the world. Tagore is the composer of national anthems of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. India is planning to connect each other, especially the creative souls in the cultural fields of SAARC countries. NGMA is initiating to connect artists of this region. So this is just the beginning through which we are starting off exchange programmes where Bangladeshi artists will showcase their arts in India and Indian artists will display their works in Bangladesh.”   

“I am delighted to be a part of the event. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two countries through this exchange programme will play a great role towards forming an artistic bonding among the artists of India and Bangladesh. The iconic works of modern masters that the NGMA, along with its two branches in Mumbai and Bengaluru, houses and exhibits inspire us to celebrate each day and we want to spread this joy of pure passion, insight and hard work with each one visiting the NGMA. The works of art from our collection facilitate us to embark on new journeys and serve as a fertile ground for new contemporary practices. I look forward to collaborations and partnerships with National and international institutions and will explore all possibilities for extension of cultural relations. Bangladeshi people and artists are friendly, hospitable and positive. We have a common artistic way to march forward in the days ahead.”

Adwaita Charan Gadanayak, an eminent Indian sculptor, works closely with traditional art. He feels that the traditional and contemporary art must be incorporated and encouraged. His works include the black marble replica of Gandhi leading the Salt March installed in New Delhi, the interactive art work at New Delhi's Lodhi Garden and the depiction of the Gandhi household “Hriday Kunj” at the Gandhi Museum.

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