The Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh, the biggest art event of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), saw curtains rise on its 16th edition on December 1. The exhibit that began in 1981 features renowned artists of the Asia Pacific region, and has been held once every two years at BSA.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith opened the exhibition at the main auditorium of the National Theatre Hall of BSA on Monday morning. Cultural Affairs secretary Ranjit Kumar Biswas chaired the event, where Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor spoke as special guest while DSA Director General Liaquat Ali Lucky delivered welcome address. Among others present were noted artist Hashem Khan, Director of Postal Services Nayeb Delwar Hossain and Director of BSA's Fine Arts department Md. Anwar Hossain.
The guests paid tributes to a portrait of eminent artist Qayyum Chowdhury at the Fine Arts building of BSA, and later went to the Shaheed Minar to pay their last respect to the artist.
Marking the opening of the exhibition, a cultural programme was also held at the main auditorium of the National Theatre Hall later that evening.
Some 32 countries are participating in the month-long 16th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh: Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Bhutan, Brunei, China, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, South Korea, Soudia Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Jordan, UAE and hosts Bangladesh. Some 204 artworks by 104 artists by foreign artists will be on display, while 71 artists/critics will also be visiting on the occasion, including Uguracan Akyuz from Turkey, Ranbir Singh Kaleka from India and Gao Pend from China. Observers from USA, France, Egypt and Brazil are also visiting.
A five-member committee also selected 228 works of 209 Bangladeshi artists, from a submission pool of 518 applicants. Artists Samarjit Roy Chowdhury, Monirul Islam, Syed Abdullah Khalid, Mansur Ul Karim and Dr. Farida Zaman constituted the panel.
Three grand prizes and six honourary mentions were also decided for the exhibition, with the grand prizes going to Md. Abdul Momen (Bangladesh), Hessa Ahmed Kalla (Qatar) and Gulshan Hossain (Bangladesh). The honourary mentions were awarded to Bishwajit Goswami (Bangladesh), Maynul Islam Paul (Bangladesh), Dr. Fakhriya Al-Yahyal (Oman), Kamruzzaman Shadhin (Bangladesh), Nurul Amin (Bangladesh) and Hamed Al-Jabri (Oman).
For the first time, performance art has been included in the exhibition, with 10 artists taking part.
The exhibition remains open till December 31, from 11am-8pm on weekdays and 3pm-8pm on Friday.