Experiencing art

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To appreciate art, all that one requires, is a keen pair of eyes. Of course the earnest student does his/her ‘bookish’ study but everything boils down to one thing – having an eye for the details. Opportunity is another pre-requisite. One can browse through every art book available in the market and still be amazed at the sight of seeing something familiar at a gallery or an art shop. The feeling of being shaken by an artwork is indeed an exhilarating experience.

Since the early 1950s, the modern art scene in Bangladesh has taken slow, baby steps into the vibrant market that we now see. Galleries have opened up in almost every corner of this bustling metropolis, people buy art, and most importantly, people are interested in seeing ‘good art’.

Ever since opening their door to art lovers some 12 years ago, Galleri Kaya, neatly tucked in Sector 4 of Uttara, has promoted the local scene in more ways than one. As a gallery, they hold regular special exhibitions ranging on myriad subjects – watercolours, prints and masks to name a few. Group exhibitions are also regular events in their yearly planning. And as is their forte, Galleri Kaya has held art camps at various locations of the country and also in Bhutan, where artists – relative newcomers – get a chance to brush shoulders with the giants of the field. And the doyens of the art world get an opportunity to soak their feet in still unchartered territory.

The recent offering of Galleri Kaya, an exhibition which began on 5 July, showcases a selection of 44 works done between 1973 and 2013 by twenty-three modern artists of Bangladesh. It is a rare occasion to see works by the likes of  Zainul Abedin, Devdas Chakraborty, SM Sultan, Rashid Chowdhury, Qamrul Hassan, Aminul Islam, Qayyum Choudhury, Monirul Islam, Murtaja Baseer, Nitun Kundu, Rafiqun Nabi, Hamiduzzaman Khan and Dipa Haq outside a museum; all under one roof and offered for sale.

Meanwhile, for the gallery itself, the collection is an album, and the exhibition, a walk down memory lane. It is needless to say that every artwork tells stories. But imagine if you had been there when the work was a work-in-process, or the time when you bought it from the artist.

These high-end art pieces, many of which have already been sold, bear testament to the fact that the art scene of the country is mature enough to see these million taka pieces get absorbed in the market.

A rare opportunity to see artworks by some of the greatest artists that have lived and live on, visit Galleri Kaya. The exhibition is open to visitors till 26 June, 2015. The gallery is located at House # 20, Road # 16, Sector 4, Uttara.

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