On October 18 the exhibition “Bangladesh - The Land of Diversity” was inaugurated at Drik Gallery in Dhanmondi. State Minister for Housing and Public Works Abdul Mannan Khan was the chief guest and Alan Davy, managing director of British American Tobacco Bangladesh was special guest.
The exhibition features 64 photographs by MM Zahidur Rahman Biplob. “I tried to highlight the various aspects of Bangladesh through these images,” said the photographer.
“It's a wonderful compilation,” said Abdul Mannan Khan. “I was particularly delighted to see the photo of the crow. The sight of the black bird in its habitat was pretty amazing and I'm glad that the photographer has directed our vision to this image that is often overlooked.”
The pictures feature diverse people, places, animals and locales that share a common theme: Bangladesh. The various ways that colours mingle, smiles almost appear and people go about their everyday lives have been beautifully portrayed through the collection of photos.
In one photo, some empty chairs on a beach evoke an empty feeling whereas in another, there is a melange of vivid colours and faces brimming with life. This is Bangladesh -- a land of many contrasts. A depiction of an indigenous woman sitting alone, perhaps contemplating, is a moving image. Then there is a photo of a boy storming through a pathway, blowing dust behind him, epitomising vigour and aspirations. The exhibition also has 20 photographs on wildlife, of which Bangladesh has an immense wealth to offer.
“I tried to represent Bangladesh in its traditional and historical elements, landscapes, nature, environment and lifestyles.
“Basically I selected these pictures out of my collection of around 100,000 photographs. The theme is big, enormous even. I tried to collect and bring out those moments that have a story to share of and about our country,” said Biplob.
“When taking the photos, I had encountered several interesting experiences. Like when I took the snap of an indigenous woman, there was a problem in communication. Once they got to know that this unfamiliarly attired man holding a digital equipment was there just to take photos, they were a little shy but were very cordial and hospitable.
“Behind the photo of a deer is another wonderful story. It was taken in Nijhum Dwip. A couple of children had caught a deer cub and a friend of mine and I were trying to release it. All the other deer out of about 150 had fled seeing us, but the mother deer stayed behind to watch over its cub. The shot was taken just as the cub went free. It kind of symbolises the bond between a mother and a child. I guess the love of a mother is the same everywhere, even in wildlife.
“I tried to bring out the best of the country, but Bangladesh has many faces and I had my limitations,” the photographer said.
The writer is a freelance contributor