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Lighting up the room with vivid art from Bangladesh

April 10, 2011 - 18:09 By
Bangladesh has a rich tradition of art yet little is known about it in this part of Asia.

To rectify this, the Bangladesh Embassy organized an art exhibition at the Korea Foundation Cultural Center which showcases modern artwork from Bangladesh.

“Bangladeshi paintings show the innocent beauty of our nature and people which is in step with modern trends but also takes a lot from the millennia-old traditions we have,” said Bangladesh Ambassador Shahidul Islam.

Visitors will enjoy around 50 dynamic works of art by 16 Bangladeshi artists experimenting with a variety of media, techniques and styles.

Among the artists whose works are on display are Syed Jahangir, winner of the top art award in Bangladesh and an artist active throughout Asia and in the United States, and Kanak Chanpa Chakma, a female artist whose main focus is on depicting the lives of minority peoples.

The distinctive features of today’s Bangladeshi art stem from the country’s social and cultural evolution and are closely related to its political developments. 
Bangladesh Ambassador Shahidul Islam (right) discusses the different imagery found in contemporary Bangladesh art with India Ambassador Skand R. Tayal. (Yoav Cerralbo/The Korea Herald)

As a result, the development of Bangladesh artists cannot be enjoyed fully without taking into consideration its historical and sociological factors as well as contemporary political history.

“One part of our art is the long tradition and history that was enriched by almost all the religious and cultural influences of the world,” Islam told The Korea Herald.

The modern art movement in Bangladesh started after the country’s present-day borders were established with the partition of Bengal and India in 1947.

The creation of a new country offered a lot of opportunities for Bangladeshi artists in the 1950s who were among the first to graduate from the art institute in Dhaka and almost immediately went abroad and experienced contemporary events in the art world of the west.

“Thanks to their Bengal traditions, they had very specific inclination towards folk themes, mythology and history,” he said.

The exhibition is free of charge and runs until April 15.

For more information about the center in Sunhwa-dong, visit or call (02) 2151-6500.

By Yoav Cerralbo (