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Dhaka art project

Dhaka art project 02-08-2014

By Sabya van Elswijk

Dhaka Art Center Dhaka Art Center 2 Dhaka Art Center 3

There: Sumon, Trina, Shourov, Emran, Alia, Samsul, Moon, Syed
Missing: Ali, Apurbo, Jhumu, Kallol, Aroni, Sabia

Where shall we show our work? What shall we show and how shall we show it?

Trina: I want to show it to everybody. Martijn says “That’s too broad, what is your message? Let’s talk about that more.“

Martijn says he would like to put all the portraits he made, and the drawings and paintings of everyone printed and laminated, and put it from the wall to the floor, so people will look at it, and are walking over all the faces. We can talk to the owner of Bashundhara shopping mall.

Dhaka Art centre: We will use the space of Dhaka art centre to put work from everybody, everyone brings 4/5 pieces of their work and projects. We can use the place not in a standard way. We can use two/three rooms, and put the art everywhere: on the floors, and ceiling, like the city is: organized like a rhizome.
We can make it like a bucket of fluid: we start in the Dhaka art centre and let it flow from there to its surroundings. It can have a festival like character; we invite musicians, theatre makers, all kinds of people to perform.

Shourov: Who is your audience: I thought that when I want to have an impact. So I want to target teenagers, college setting, or university setting, because those people are not generally exposed to these images.

Emran: My audience are the people that use rickshaws. And the rickshaw is available to use anywhere, we can put in the Dhaka art centre, and also make a route to places around the Dhaka art centre. Emran wants to work with the Dhaka city map.

Sumon: Wants to make a gift item from his work, reproductions of Martijns photography. He wants to give it back to the people he worked with. The painting they made with his work. Also he wants to make a big banner that can be moved during the festival, with the drawings.

During the festival he wants to collect experiences by writing or drawing or video during the festival.

Martijn: Making a big print with all the photographs, and all the paintings / drawing people made of it, and

Shourov has an idea when we do an exhibition in the shopping mall, to replace mannequins or billboards by pictures and portraits of streetchildren and homeless people.

Alia is doing 4 portraits of her father in different phases of his life. She does not know how to exhibit, as long as both her mother and father cannot see it. We are talking about a big NO ENTRANCE sign for her father and mother at the exhibition. She is recording what she fees, what her memories are during the process of painting. Martijn shows a serie he made, working on his relationship with his father. It reaches a depth where there are no words, only feelings.

Martijn is telling about Jhumu’s grandmother, who we portrayed. We asked what was really important to her, and she told us about when she was 11 months old, that her mother died, and her father remarried. She was send away to her grandmother. So you see a grandmother from the outside, you expect to think of daily things. And then you see what is inside of her. Like the rickshaw drivers who are busy with many things in their lives, other then driving a rickshaw.

So this is the question for this group, and everyone as an artist: make a heart connection with the people you are working with, and create your art from there.

So back to the question where were we can show our work, who is our audience?

1. Who is your audience?
Sumon has a special connection with rickshaw driver and the people who use them.
Alia: rich people, who hide their problems.
Trina & Moon: The Banglesellers themselves, and our fellow students.
Samsul: I like to work with these people, who live in the slum, and show them outside of a gallery. I have to think about this.
Emran: My audience are the rickshaw drivers and the people that drive with them.

2. Where shall we show it?
Sumon: In places where they can see it, outside on banners and in print.
Alia: “The Bashundhara shopping mall would be good for rich people. And I like to hang it in a tree. That could be in front of the Dhaka art Centre. I like it to be really high”
Samsul: I like to work with these people, who live in the slum, and show them outside of a gallery. I have to think about this.
Emran: “I want to use a rickshaw to ”

3. What is your message?
Sumon: “You have humanity, you can talk for yourself.”
Alia: “Rich people hide their problems. This is a person, we don’t have to judge. This person is misunderstood. I am trying to understand him.” Still working on it.
Trina & Moon: To our fellow art students “Please see them, pay them attention, make a relation.”
Samsul: I still have to do the project, so my message is not clear yet. Of my last project, the message was “Are you trapped?”
Emran: “The life of a Rickshawdrivers is much more colourful than you think.”

Syed is thinking of a project with the issue: everybody is spending money to buy more stuff, working to get that money and buying more. He has the image that everyone is living only to buy their own coffin. Martijn asks if he can talk about himself, because that’s what we work here on: it will make you a better artist if you can show yourself. Syed agrees and makes his question personal: Am I working towards my coffin?

Martijn suggests that we can put all our messages in a question: think about that.

Festival exhibition: Gespuis in Dhaka
– For the festival, we choose the Dhaka art centre as a point and work from there. There is the possibility of a shopping mall, and also other places. As long as everyone also has some work in the Dhaka art centre.
– Festival opening with a procession: all crazy objects and clothing, moving objects and Rickshaw. It is very nice to invite people to make music and theatre.
Everyone invites other performers for procession and during the festival, we will make a program. Also everyone can do something during the festival. Martijn will make a photobooth, Sumon is interviewing people, Emran is Rickshaw driving, etc
– Martijn will put a video of an artists procession on Facebook

So next week we will meet again!

15-08: Opening Athena Gallery, part of this process: show: yourself 6 PM work of Martijn Crowe, Ronald Merkesteijn and Rezaun Nabi.

16-08: 4 PM Dhaka art project group meeting to finalize the messages, locations and program festival (exact hour will be confirmed this week)

20-08: Bring your work to Dhaka art centre and together we create exposition
21-08: Bring your work to Dhaka art centre and together we create exposition
22-08: Opening procession: 4 PM
23-08: Festival exhibition (set time, make program)
7 PM Lecture / talk with Martijn in Dhaka art Centre
24-08: Festival exhibition (set time, make program)

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 […] 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 →

Hijra in Bangladesh: Parvat

By Sabya van Elswijk, After our meeting with Boys of Bangladesh, we understand more about being gay in Bangladesh, and it is also clear you will not find people who call themselves ‘dragqueen’ openly here. We do want to work on this subject, and are looking for contacts in the Hijra community in Dhaka. Hijra’s […] 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 →

“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 →

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 →