All the paintings at the exhibition were inspired from poems written by the seven international and eight eminent Bangladeshi poets of this year’s summit
The four-day long Dhaka International Poets Summit 2019, organized by Kathak Bangladesh, presented a unique blend of a “Poetry and Painting” exhibition on Wednesday, at the National Gallery of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Renowned Bangladeshi artist Maksudul Ahsan’s paintings were displayed at the exhibition, which is at the third floor of the National Gallery.
All the paintings at the exhibition were inspired from poems written by the seven international and eight eminent Bangladeshi poets of this year’s summit. Among the international poets, the summit has invited Ali Al Shalah from Iraq, Annabel Villar and Julio Pavanetti from Uruguay, Kama Sywor Kamanda from Congo, Malim Ghozali PK from Malaysia, Claire Booker from Great Britain, and Tianxin Cai from China.
Among the poets of Bangladesh the summit has: Asad Chowdhury, Hayat Saif, Mohammad Nurul Huda, Jahidul Huq, Maksudul Ahsan, Aminur Rahman, Mustafa Pasha, and Habibullah Sirajee, who is the current director general of the Bangla Academy.
The participating poets first paid tribute at the National Martyrs’ Memorial, in Savar, at 9am. The poets then visited the Jahangirnagar University to observe migrating birds, and interact with the students and teachers of the university's English Department, after which the poets made their way to the National gallery for the exhibition.
Before the exhibition was opened to the public, a one hour long poetry recitation session began at 6:30pm at the foyer of the National Gallery’s third floor. Poets Ali Al Shalah, Tianxin Cai, Malim Ghozali PK, Julio Pavanetti, Asad Chowdhury, Mustafa Pasha, and Hayat Saif enchanted the audience with their recitations. The international poets recited in their native language, which mesmerized the audience in spite of the difference in language. Each recitation was rhythmically rich.
Following the recitation session, the exhibition was formally opened at 7:30pm. The ceremonial ribbon for the exhibition was cut by the poets of the summit and the chief guest of the event M Shah Alam Sarwar, the managing director of IFIC bank. Chairman of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir presided over the entire evening.
Artiste of many fields, Naila Tarannum Chowdhury told Dhaka Tribune Showtime: “This year’s poet summit has been organized wonderfully. The idea of presenting the themes of a poem and a painting simultaneously, is quite extraordinary. I am happy that IFIC bank is a patron for this event, just as they are for anything that develops the art and culture of Bangladesh. Artistes must continue their work, and the rest of the people must help the work of art flourish.
“Another thing that is noteworthy, is the number of international poets at this year’s summit. Being able to showcase poets from diverse cultural backgrounds is a big achievement of the summit, I think,” Naila added.
Julio Pavanetti from Uruguay told Showtime: “I enjoy such unique programs, where there is a mixture of different arts, such as, painting, poetry, music, dance and so forth. It is very important to help the arts flourish, as it is hand-in-hand with the culture of a nation. I request your readers to come and visit the exhibition. I couldn't agree more to the painting made for my poem ‘There is a city.’ The strokes of colour perfectly reflect what I wanted to express through the words in my poem.”
Each painting at the exhibition was conceptualized by painter Maksudul Ahsan, after reading the poems chosen by the poets of this year’s summit. Each poem is presented right next to the painting, which it has inspired. The exhibition will end on February 7.