Arcadia Arts, a contemporary art gallery, started its journey through unveiling an important group art exhibition on February 16. Located in Dhaka's Banani (Road No. 12), it is a new hub of arts, artists and collectors with a special focus on Bangladeshi cultural and folk heritage.
Renowned artists Hamiduzzaman Khan, Shishir Bhattacharya, Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Wakilur Rahman and Professor Nisar Hossain, Dean, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka attended the opening ceremony of the gallery as honourable guests. "Through opening the gallery, Arcadia Arts makes a bridge among the artists, enthusiasts and collectors. It will add up a new dimension to Bangladeshi art and culture," said Hamiduzzaman Khan.
Passionate art collectors and promoters – Khan Rezaul Hoq and Arneeb Chaudhury – are the co-founders of the gallery, while Ashim Halder Sagor is the curator.
"The journey of Arcadia Arts is important because the artist community faced a setback during the pandemic time. The initiative will definitely boost up their morale and motivate them to venture into newer forms of arts reflecting the harsh reality of the time," said Ashim Halder Sagor.
Mrs. World Bangladesh 2019 Munjarin Abony, who is a collector and better half of Arneeb Chaudhury, said, "The art platform is specially designed for the young and emerging artists and art collectors. Apart from visual, digital and graphic arts, we hope to support diverse Bangladeshi arts like Jamdani, weaving, jute and ceramic arts in the gallery."
Among others, Vidiya Amrit Khan, Director of Desh Group of Companies, and the spouse of Khan Rezaul Hoq, was present at the opening ceremony.
The month-long exhibition will be open for all till March 16. But art lovers and collectors must maintain hygiene rules and will require a prior registration to visit the gallery. Only a limited number of registered visitors can enter into the gallery to enjoy diverse visual arts on display. For prior registration, art lovers and collectors can log onto www.arcadiaartsbd.com and [email protected]
Among the displayed works, TBS picks three artworks that stand out.
'Untitled 003' by Rafiqun Nabi
Bold lines, sharp shadows and melting tones give Rafiqun Nabi's drawings a transcendental appeal. Nabi's works evoke nostalgia. The renowned painter still recollects the memories of his childhood. Consequently, a number of distinctive themes have appeared recurrently in his paintings: life of fishermen and boatmen, herds of cows and buffalos, shepherds, day labourers, crows, kingfishers, goats, wild flowers and people at leisure chatting. Interrelationship among man, animal and nature is another noticeable subject in his paintings. The 54X78cm ink drawing on paper portrays a shepherd playing flute riding on a buffalo. The master composition fantastically captures the leisure time of the shepherd.
'Her Story' by Kanak Chanpa Chakma
The vivid portrayal of a Chakma girl depicted at the backdrop of twilight is the theme of Kanak Chanpa Chakma's work. The celebrated artist has freed the girl from her struggling lives focusing on her inner joy and happier moments. Kanak shines through her unique body of works. Behind the use of vibrant colours lie stories of great depth. As we lift the yellow veils of saffron and pierce past the misty cerulean blues, we find the inner thoughts of the artist - a blissful aesthetic rising out of the canvas. Her Story, measuring 61X61cm, is an acrylic piece and solely portrays the story of the Chakma girl.
'The Sundarbans' by Ahmed Shamsuddoha
Bangladesh's scenic beauty, bucolic panoramas, the rivers and the creeks are the boast depiction of 'The Sundarbans' by Ahmed Shamsuddoha. The 61X61 cm oil on canvas evokes a fine landscape of the country. The untainted beauty of the Sundarbans, with the unparalleled composition of the confluence of rivers is the selective theme that the amiable yet assertive artist Ahmed Shamsuddoha has portrayed for the ongoing exhibition.