The ongoing 24th edition of the National Art Exhibition at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA)’s National Art Gallery has been extended due to audience demand and will now conclude on September 25.
The event was opened to in-person audiences on September 1 as the first major public exhibition of BSA, since it shut its doors in April amid the second wave of COVID-19.
This year’s exhibition created history as the first-ever virtual edition inaugurated on June 29 at its website www.shilpakala.gov.bd and its official YouTube channel till July 31, due to the havoc of COVID-19 in the country.
Known as one of the most celebrated art exhibitions of the country and one of the flagship artistic ventures of BSA since 1975, the event was virtually inaugurated by State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid.
A total of 157 paintings, 47 sculptures, 53 prints, 17 photographs, 18 installations, 10 oriental artworks, 20 crafts, 7 new media works, 5 graphics works, and 7 potteries are on display, alongside 6 special performance art shows. Of the over 1,000 artworks submitted by a total of 786 artists, the 347 artworks of different mediums and genres by 323 artists are being showcased at this year’s exhibition.
A special segment consisting of four art projects curated by four renowned artists, is also being displayed in this year’s exhibition. A team of 10 artists in each group worked under the curators Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Zihan Karim, Kamruzzaman Chowdhury, and Joydeb Roaja, displaying their crafts in this segment.
Artists Farida Zaman, Abdul Mannan, Abul Barq Alvi, Mostafa Sharif Anwar, Mustafa Zaman, and Syeda Mahbuba Karim were the jury board members and made the final selections of this year’s awards for the exhibition.
The names of the award recipient artists were announced at the virtual inauguration ceremony on June 29. Mohammad Hasanur Rahaman won the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy award worth Tk 200,000 (2 lacs) as the best artist.
Eleven departmental prizes for different genres worth Tk 100,000 (1 lac) each were awarded to artists Imtiaj Ahmed Rasel (Installation Art), Ruhul Karim Rumee (Painting), Md Anisuzzaman (Printmaking), Kanok Kumar Pathak (Sculpture), Sushanta Kumar Adhikary (Oriental Art), Samiya Afrin (Crafts), Md Robiul Islam (Ceramic), Al Monjur Elahi (Graphic Design), Md Al Yeacha Irfan Uddin (Photography), Efat Razowana Reya (Performance Art), and Zihan Karim (New Media Art).
Five honorable mention awards worth Tk 25,000 were announced to artists Abu Tareq Md Kadimul Islam Jadu (Painting), Kazi Sayed Ahmed (Painting), Aminul Islam Ashik (Sculpture), Alok Rajbongshi (Sculpture), and Md Rafiqul Islam (Printmaking).
The rest of the five special ‘Honorable’ prizes - Bengal Foundation award, Artist Kalidas Karmakar award, Language Activist Gaziul Haque award, Shahjalal Islami Bank Foundation award and Artist Kazi Anwar Hossain award - was awarded to artist Abhijit Chowdhury (Painting), Rasel Kanti Das (Painting), Tanvir Ahmed Joy (Sculpture), Promotesh Das Pulak (Installation Art), and Kamruzzaman (Printmaking), respectively.