The 9th SAARC Artist Camp and Exhibition 2019 recently took place at the National Art Gallery, Male. The Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Yumna Maumoon, officials from the SAARC Cultural Center and officials from the Ministry of Art, Culture and Heritage attended the ceremony. The chief guest was the Minister of Economic Development, Uz Fayyaz Ismail.
The Director of SAARC Cultural Center, DKR Ekanayake, noted that the main objective of the event was to promote regional unity. She further pointed out the role of the camp in enabling the artists to showcase the heritage of the member states, as well as serving as a platform to share experiences and knowledge to create meaningful relationships.
The Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Yumna Maumoon, in her speech, spoke on the importance of art as a medium of expression, and the government’s dedication towards the development of the industry. She also thanked the chief guest for announcing their initiative to have a shop that will sell local art and crafts in each resort in the Maldives.
Addressing the gathering, Minister for Economic Development, Uz Fayyaz Ismail highlighted the effectiveness of art as a form of communication. He further stressed the importance of mobilising the immense potential of the creative people. He also spoke on the importance of existence of economically and financially viable mechanisms for trade in order for the artist to survive and announced the opening of an art center in Male next year.
As the host country for the Artist Camp and Exhibition of Paintings 2019, the Maldives welcomed the artists participating in the event and the SAARC Cultural Center Officials to the Maldives.
Artists created artworks on the themes, “Oceans, a binding treasure of South Asia” and “Cultures and confluences of creativity.” Each participant created two paintings, that are now on display at the the gallery. 29 artists from the member states of Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka participated in the artist camp and exhibition this year.
Bangladeshi artists Nazma Akther, Anukul Chandra Majumder, Md Tarikat Islam and Shulekha Chaudhury, along with art critic Mainuddin Khaled attended the art event, where Ajit Kumar Debnath, joint secretary of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, was team leader.