Archives for 


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


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 →

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 →

Boys of Bangladesh

By Sabya van Elswijk, We are invited to meet with the director of Boys of Bangladesh, a network of gay people in Dhaka. Arriving at his place, human rights activist Tanvir Alim welcomes us and explains that they use apartments as informal meeting places. There are many volunteers; all of them spend time on Boys of […] Continue reading →

Dialogues#5: development of the concept for showing art

An interesting conversation was held around the way to show and share the creations of the Dhaka Project. “We can use the rhizome as a metaphor for showing our art. The France philosopher used the Rhizome as a inspiration to create a non hierarchical philosophy but he placed it on a non spatial and non temporal plan, […] Continue reading →

Dialogue #4: Dhaka Art Project

Dialogue Dhaka art project 19-07 By Sabya van Elswijk, – Samsul shows Hijra works. He is new to the group, and is thinking about the subject. Sumon introduces him, tells about his work with groups of people in Dhaka, he shows his work to us. He worked with people and portrayed them in his ‘love […] Continue reading →

Living along the railroad

14/07/2014, by Sabya van Elswijk, This morning we went with Raj in the car to meet Emran in a teastall (cha dokan) near his house. Welcoming us to their teastall, a man, his wife and son shook hands, and we got cha fresh from the kettle that is there on fire all day. Emran said […] Continue reading →

Depart Art Magazine artist lecture: “Artists are liars, like everybody is”.

By Sabya van Elswijk, Today Martijn is invited at Depart, an art magazine in Dhaka. Leaving at 13 from our studio, we arrive at 15 o’clock, just in time. There we meet Mustafa Zaman, the editor of Depart, who is also an artist. As he explains, in the 90ties there were artists and exhibitions in […] Continue reading →