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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 →

Dialogues #6: work process

Dhaka art project 02-08-2014 by Sabya van Elswijk, So today everybody that is actively working with a group is here, except for Ali, Apurbo and Moon. Alia made a list with everybody’s name, subject, work process and contacts. Where shall we show our work? What shall we show and how shall we show it? Trina […] 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 →

“He wants to go beyond the Sun!!”

By Sumon, It is hard to recall the time, when with some of my friends we chatted on to the boat, near to a berth bank of the Burigonga river. It was in the middle of the day, somebody lay down and somebody relaxed to pass away a silent moment, then one of us just […] Continue reading →

Lecture: “Artists are liars, like everybody is.” by Martijn Crowe in Dhaka

Martijn Crowe gave on July, 13th a lecture about ”the concept of the truth admitting that we love to lie, we can live in peace with each other, not taking ourselves too serious, teasing each other with the strong believes we might have and in fact are illusions. Admitting that we love to lie and […] Continue reading →

The Dhaka Project in the Press #3

  The Dhaka Project is published in the social organization magazine Wspak – Społeczno-Kulturalny Magazyn Akcji Przedsiębiorczej Filantropii INSP member, Warsaw, Poland. They describe Martijn Crowe ”as a world-renowned artist for whom art is not an end in itself, nor a way to make money, but a way of understanding life. And that is what The Dhaka Project – online exchange […] Continue reading →

Sumon, by Martijn Crowe

    The city of Dhaka is one of the most crowded in the world. There is an proximity of 15.000.000 people pressed into a river Delta with the natural borders of rivers like, and even a number of an estimated 350.000 immigrants per year. There is housing for the higher middleclass, some 14% of […] Continue reading →

The Dhaka Project in the press #2

The Dhaka Art Project discussion was covered by Jhumu, a master student of Media studies and journalism in Dhaka. She is involved in the Dhaka Art Project as a writer. Her article is published in a local newspaper, Bonik Barta. Read the following interview in English or the original Bangladeshi version here. “Martjin Crowe is Brazilian […] Continue reading →

Dialogue at the Dhaka Art Center

                The Dhaka Art Project is progressing at Dhaka Art Center. A group of 25 artists are together creating projects around homeless, children and many other social issues with the aim of contributing to the world. Continue reading →