Artists should have a solemn liability for society - Rafiqun Nabi | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 02, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:32 AM, January 02, 2017

Artists should have a solemn liability for society - Rafiqun Nabi

Eminent artist Professor Rafiqun Nabi was the Chairman of Jury Board of the recently-concluded 17th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh. In an interview with this correspondent following the three-day International Art Camp, the revered artist shared many aspects of art and the prestigious Asian Art Biennale. Excerpts:

“The jury board unanimously decided that artworks of Bangladeshi artists stood out among all the participating artists of 54 countries. Bangladeshi young artists are very promising, inquisitive and they are experimenting with the new media of art. The submission of installations and video art was praiseworthy compared to other new media art.”

“Previously, we didn't have too many opportunities to look at these new media. Now, thanks to the computer and internet, the doors of art have been opened to them. The display of huge installation works is an interesting and common feature of Venice Art Biennale. The organisers allocate a lot of space to artists for showcasing installations. Our galleries cannot allocate that space. Installations have a specialty of surprising the audience. Again, curating is a problem. We have some drawbacks in this regard, but we are trying to overcome it. The submission of popular and major media like painting, print and sculpture were very good, but the submission of new media was outstanding.”

“The three-day international art camp that was held at in Chittagong was a new dimension of 17th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh. Artists of different countries had the opportunity to share views, exchange and interact with each other. This paves the way to the artistic sync among us. You could not recognise which paintings have been done by whom from the participants' unsigned artworks at the art camp. This means we are accomplishing almost same works worldwide. Our artistic thoughts and tastes are quite similar.”

“The modern painting has reached great heights thanks to the ceaseless practice, experiments and experiences by artists. Modern painting is no more confined to any 'ism'. The basic difference between Eastern and Western Classical Music lies in the taking the taste of the art forms, while taking the essence of classical and modern art lies in the audience's taste and their way to receiving it. The general audience may not comprehend every symbol and meaning of an artwork. But, one can relate with a realistic work easily. It is a bit complex. The knowledge of philosophy, spirituality, sublime imagination, social conscience, psycho analysis, absurdity and many things are required to understand a piece of work.”

“Bangladesh is a land of scenic beauty, the distinctive beauty of nature adorns our country with six different styles with the onset of six seasons. Watercolour is an apt media to perfectly portray the bucolic beauty of Bangladesh. I am happy that the young artists are doing great in watercolour media. Artists should display artworks to relay their thoughts, conscience, and imagination as their solemn liability for the society. This is how a reciprocally appreciative atmosphere for art to emerge where arts, artists and art lovers will play a significant role to meet this end.” 

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