Definitely it is hard to overestimate the challenges of gathering works from 200 Bangladeshi artists and 250 from International artists. There are 550 artworks in this vast exhibition. My experience of observing the 18th Art Biennale Bangladesh was remarkable and exciting in many ways
Visiting an art exhibition can be fun, stimulating and thought provoking. However, it can also be perplexing and alienating, making you feel unsure about what you are looking at. Regardless of what you feel, there is just too much or not enough information available, and sometimes at the end of the experience it makes us question reality or even our own identity.
Before I express my opinions I must warn the readers that I am not well-informed when it comes to evaluating works by real artists. Definitely it is hard to overestimate the challenges of gathering works from 200 Bangladeshi artists and 250 from International artists. There are 550 artworks in this vast exhibition. My experience of observing the 18th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh was remarkable and exciting in many ways.
In my opinion, the enormousness of this biennale has encouraged artists to dream even bigger. In terms of physical length few works drew my attention as soon as I entered gallery. One of them was “Stop the Genocide - 1” terracotta art by Debasis Roy. The artist empathizes with all the victims of war and conflicts. On the opposite side of the spectrum the tiniest micro sculpture, “Abundance of A Fossil” by Kutubul Islam Ovi, signifies the diversity of school of thoughts among young Bangladeshi artists.
I must mention few of the art works by foreign artist I found interesting. One of them was Xiang Yang’s “Uncertain Identity”. The medium was silk thread and an outer frame from stainless steel. I am not sure if I can always relate to artist’s perception always but it definitely made me think of my own sci-fi multidimensional interpretations inside my head. Even though I do not know much about oil painting, the Mongolian artist Enkhbat Lkhagvadorj’s “The Horsemen” made me contemplate.
I also talked with few of the artists about their work and life in general. Artists are people like us who chose to communicate in a profound way. Some of them were unhappy due to management issues. Few of the works got delayed in the exhibition. One artist showed me the website of “18th Art Biennale Bangladesh.” It is really in a bad condition. There is very few information available and many empty pages. These are the complications the artists had to face when we were enjoying the beauty of their works. I hope the people who organized this biennale will take these issues seriously, and solve them to encourage the artists.
On my way back from the biennale, I came to the realization, that every single time we carefully look at a work of art of any kind, be it high or low, be it old or new, irrespective of whether it appeals to us or not, our perception of aesthetics is most definitely sharpened. We will see the next piece with just a touch more discernment. And this process will continue.
Although, this is a double-edged sword. As our eye sharpens, we will find that our enjoyment of some of our old favorites might lessen as we are able to discern the flaws previously hidden. But the joy increases if the keener eye sees excellence. It can cheer you like the sound of a chorus yelling “Hallelujah.” I would say that the experience of going to the 18th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh was pretty wonderful. It made me happy.