“Dhaka is an open city” | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 13, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 13, 2019

“Dhaka is an open city”

- Sophia Moffa

Born in Italy, UK-based sculptor and contemporary artist Sophia Moffa has a keen interest in conceptual art. Completing her BA in Sculpture from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK, Sophia did her MA in Fine Art from Manchester School of Art, UK. The artist-curator regularly visits different countries of the world to take part in art exhibitions, performances, residencies, talks and many other activities.

Sophia's memories and experiences in the contemporary art scene of Bangladesh are remarkable. The artist displayed her first performance art titled, See Gaze 18-19 at the international art exhibition, Celebrating Mother Language in the Light of Art, held this year at the National Art Gallery of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. She also participated in another performance held at Goethe Institut, Dhaka. Besides that, in 2019, she took part in the Chittagong Biennale and the Dhaka Live Art Biennale, along with a performance art workshop called, The Available Space, held at Chittagong.

Sophia wants to collaborate with other artists in Bangladesh to experiment different facets of art. “Bangladesh has so many talents. I am so amazed to see life here in the country, and I think the experience of life can be rendered into various art forms,” she said. “I have many things to learn from them and vice-versa. I love Bangladesh and want to come back to work here for a year again.”

She further opened up about her experiences in the capital. “Dhaka is an open city. You can see the corruptions and the good things in people's heart simultaneously,” she added. “I was so surprised to see a human machine called 'Rickshaw' in the city and I drove one as a part of my performance at Shilpakala,” she added.     

The artist intends to find potentiality in hurdles and challenges. Most of her works are related to a negotiation with either the environment or the people. “Negotiation is a kind of language, which subtly incorporates the relationship between the corporate world and the natural world we live in,” she said. 

Sophia seldom incorporates the psychological aspects into her experiments of artistic efforts, focusing on nature, environment and mass people. “Life in the West is much simpler and well categorized,” she asserted. “I was intrigued to know about the problems and poverty prevailing in this part of the world. Yet, people are always smiling, which I think is amazing.”  

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