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Show: Yourself


exposition athena show yourself

Show Yourself is a special exhibition showcasing the works of three artists from three different continents. While it is easy to limit an artist’s perspective through the lens of his/her own cultural identity, each of our three displayed artists represent and champion global experiences and perspectives. Their artworks have been shaped by their perpetual curiosity to explore how different environments and cultures shape the human experience, each giving their own unique twist on what it means to be alive in todays rapidly globalized world. Our displayed artists share a rich and diverse combined history of travel to foreign lands and environments, which have shaped their unique perspective on what defines art and its power to engage the viewer in topics of personal and social relevance. How artistic ideas and perceptions are shared and received have become increasingly complex and variegated. This uncertainty is reflected in the unsystematic compositions of the artworks on display, which each have their special way of defining order and meaning through chaos.

Roland Merkesteijn distorted images and portraits are a reflection of his own inner conflicts and the outer conflicts which surround him. The chaotic vibrations of his lines lend an air of uncertainty and mystery in the depictions of his characters. He is captivated by the face’s ability to tell a story. Reazun Nabi’s works reflect lost images of Bangladesh—of a time that almost seems immemorable. The consequences of over population and unplanned development threaten to overshadow the splendour and calm of Dhaka city that still exist in the corners of his memory. The hope of returning to nature—both in spirit and reality—is what his canvases seek to represent. Martijn Crowe is an avid researcher and explorer of urbanization. The hustle and bustle of the city, her colors, smells and people are often featured in the backdrop of his works. He is a true kindred sprit willing to travel to anyplace at a moment’s notice in a personal quest to capture the soul of its inhabitants. Martijn is motivated by the stories hidden in places which are less traveled and known by city dwellers. Having an anthropological background in his education gives him a special ability to decipherer unobvious characteristics and emotions of a group of people.

Each of our three artists have a fondness for hinting at their own opinions and ideas through the expression of social “others.” Whether it is the abstract language of color and line or the identifiable features of the human portrait, each artist aims to challenge the fine line between perception and reality. While their artwork is often a personal record of their own experiences, they thrive on the perceptive power of the “other” trying to understand and give meaning to their works. We hope you will enjoy this opportunity to explore yourself and your beliefs through the creative minds of these three very talented artists.

By Zeenath Ikramullah, curator of Athena Gallery of Fine Arts, Dhaka


Elderly in Bangladesh: Rowshan Ara Chowdhury

By Sabya van Elswijk,   This is Rowshan Ara Chowdhury. She is the grandmother of Alia Kamal, one of the artists of the Dhaka art project. When we first meet, Alia tells me how guilty she feels of having a grandmother in the house, with whom she barely speaks or has contact with. She says […] Continue reading →

Elderly in Bangladesh: Tara Adhikary

By Sabya van Elswijk, Aroni brings us to her former neighbour, or ‘auntie’ as she calls her. Tara Adhikary is her name, and she has come to Bangladesh from Jamsitpur, India after she married in 1951. She had her two sons here, and lived in this neighbourhood for many years. This is Mirpur 10, where […] Continue reading →

Cleaner with clean heart

By Kallol Karmakar, Zohara Jhumu & Apurba Hasan. In this ‘divide and rule’ society there are many classes we can find. Among them middle class is one of the most reactive classes. To maintain their livelihood this class does a lot of work; the amount of rewards they get for this, the same amount of […] Continue reading →

Elderly in Bangladesh

Elderly Bangladesh: information Elderly in Bangladesh: By Sabya van Elswijk, To understand more about being old and living in Bangladesh, we took some parts of the Unnayan Onneshan Policy Brief On Present Social Context and Elderly Population in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, some programmes are made for the welfare of the elderly people. The programmes are: 4.1. […] Continue reading →