Spirit of Friendship: Why Bangladeshi Artists Are Hosting an Art Exhibition in Nepal

‘Spirit of Friendship’ art exhibition at SAG to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Nepal and Bangladesh. Photo: Sangita Shrestha

You won’t be friends with others if they bear no similarity to your personality. There are always aspects that help to carry this friendship from day to day.

The exhibition, Spirit of Friendship, of Bangladeshi artists which opened on September 2 at the Siddhartha Art Gallery (SAG), Baber Mahal, means the same thing.

The title itself celebrates the existing friendship between two countries, Nepal and Bangladesh. The exhibition jointly organized by the Bangladesh Embassy in Kathmandu and the Siddhartha Art Gallery also marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between these two countries.

“This is a continuation of the embassy’s efforts to showcase Bangladesh’s rich and multi-dimensional artistic and cultural heritage to the friendly people of Nepal, and at the same time strengthen the bonds of friendship,” Salahuddin said. Noman Chowdhury, Ambassador of Bangladesh. in Nepal.

The exhibition

Spirit of Friendship features Bangladeshi artists Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Azmeer Hossain, Bishwajit Goswami, Sourav Chowdhury, Mong Mong Sho, Lumbiny Dewan, Jayatu Chakma, Aongthowai Marma, Sudhip Chakma, Nomosta Rema, Munna Bawm and Pingcu Tripura.

Figurative painting depicting everyday life in rural Bangladesh on display at SAG.
Figurative painting depicting everyday life in rural Bangladesh in the exhibition at SAG. Photo: Sangita Shrestha

These artists explored their idea of ​​being a Bangladeshi through prints and paintings using watercolour, acrylic color and mixed media. Most of the artists captured the natural beauty of the rural areas and people of Bangladesh and then a few worked in conceptual work in their paintings.

Compared to the contemporary Nepalese art scene, the style and techniques used by these young artists participating in Spirit of Friendship are opposed only at the level of the drawings of the finery and the influence of the sea. They share motifs and symbols with the paintings of modern Nepalese artists.

Some special works

Kanak Chanpa Chakma, also curator of the Spirit of Friendship exhibition, in her Songs of Nature, featured four ethnic women in their traditional attire, which bears some resemblance to women from the Tharu community of Nepal. In the painting that uses acrylic on canvas, these women stand where the artist has captured the back part of their bodies. Their finery is colorful and their body is adorned with silver jewelry. Then their hair is neatly tied in a bun using hair accessories that resemble the dhago worn by Nepalese women.

Kanak artist Chanpa Chakma's painting 'Songs of Nature' on display at SAG.
Kanak artist Chanpa Chakma’s painting ‘Songs of Nature’ in the exhibition at SAG. Photo: Sangita Shrestha

Moreover, using the misty effect through colors such as white, gray and black, it seems that these young women also need similar conditions. They are deprived of opportunities but live life beautifully.

Using watercolor, artist Mong Mong Sho created Songs of Fisherman, which looks like a photograph. The artist showed a scenario of the port during a storm.

Artist Mong Mong Sho's painting 'Songs of Fisherman' in the exhibition at SAG.  Photo: Sangita Shrestha
Artist Mong Mong Sho’s painting ‘Songs of Fisherman’ in the exhibition at SAG. Photo: Sangita Shrestha

Sangeeta Thapa, Founder of Siddhartha Art Galley, says, “Art has the power to bring countries together and transcend borders. This exhibition, Spirit of Friendship, and its unique focus on indigenous artists joins the cultural points that connect these coastal artists to the hill peoples of Nepal and northern India. Historical cross-cultural migrations and the pollination of ideas took place when our borders were still fluid. We need to go beyond the harsh borders of the post-colonial period to rekindle the age-old bonds between the peoples of South Asia.

Painting of an old Bangladeshi woman on display at SAG.  Photo: Sangita Shrestha
Paintings of Bangladeshi women in the exhibition at SAG. Photo: Sangita Shrestha

Spirit of Friendship, the exhibition that gives you a glimpse into the lifestyle of rural Bangladeshi life through vibrant colors, continues until September 12.

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