Three exhibitions - Rokeya Sultana’s The Mystique Empire, Ahmed Nazir’s The War File and Ali Akbar’s Not Here – were taking place at Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, Gallery Chitrak and Alliance Francaise, Dhaka respectively all in the same once-residential but now bursting-at-seams God-knows-what area of Dhanmondi, Dhaka. It was mighty fortunate to cover these exhibitions at the same time as anyone familiar with the impossible traffic situation of Dhaka of 2010 would know how excruciatingly difficult it can get to go from a neighbourhood to the next in town. No, actually make that going from point A to point B of the same neighbourhood when you are in Dhanmondi.
Anyway, when the feeling of being ‘lucky’ wears out, you feel good that quite a few galleries are located in this part of town which probably establishes Dhanmondi as the cultural Mecca of Dhaka. But what stands out more from visits to the shows is the diversity of works being displayed: from Sultana’s free flowing organic forms spread swimming across canvases in gouache and tempera to Nazir’s digital works centering on x-rayed skeletal body parts to Akbar’s expressionistic works about his now-distant motherland, you get a feeling of many interesting art experiments happening around you. So below are my take on the shows.
Number of Pages: 2.5