The potentials and limitations of folk art in contemporary ‘modern art scene’ have been analysed by Dhaka University’s fine arts faculty dean artist Nisar Hossain at a programme held at the faculty on Tuesday.
Giving a history of the folk art, which can be traced back to the primeval era when human beings started depicting nature and animals on cave drawings, Nisar in his lecture said many traditional fine arts drawn by the artisans in the rural areas in Bangladesh have rich art values and contain elements of the modern art forms such as installation, performance art and others.
‘Folk art is a complete art form and has similarity with many other contemporary art forms. Folk art includes painting, sculpture, installation and others’, Nisar said.
In fact, Nisar opined, contemporary art genres like performance art, installation, sculptures, and paintings are polished forms of folk art.
Citing different characteristics of traditional patachitra and shora installation, Nisar in his power-point presentation, said in patachitra, a performer narrates a story using a scroll painting, music and acting, while shora like Laksmi shora, which is used in Laksmi puja, is installed with use of elaborate alpona, and other decorative items.
‘In that sense’, Nisar argued, ‘patachitra is a performance art and Laksmi shora is an installation.’
‘It is due to today’s market that people prefer modern paintings which are framed and can be hung easily in the living room,’ Nisar said.
‘But folk art is more into people’s lives’, said Hossain, ‘If we can connect our art to today’s daily necessities that would be the legacy of folk art in the truest sense.’
In his lecture, Hossain also shared his experience of conducting a workshop on folk art at London-based Slade School of Fine Arts.
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