The 1st International Watercolour Biennale featuring paintings by 480 artists from 45 countries began on Tuesday at National Art Gallery of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Artists from Bangladesh, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, America and others are displaying innovative and experimental watercolour paintings in the four-day show.
Bangladesh chapter of International Watercolour Society, in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, organised the biennale to encourage artists from across the world to work on classic watercolour paintings in the era when contemporary artists are more fascinated to experimental new mediums.
Trukish ambassador Devrim Ozturk, eminent artists Mustafa Monwar, Samrjit Roy Chowdhury, Nisar Hossain, Shilpakala Academy director general Liaquat Ali Lucky, IWS founding president Atanur Dogan, IWS Bangladesh president Kauser Hossain Masud, among others were present at the inauguration ceremony held at National Art Gallery.
The organisers handed over awards to 28 winners and also honoured Turkish-Canada artist Atanur Dogan with Outstanding Contribution to Art award and local seasoned artist Alokesh Ghosh with the Lifetime Achievement award.
Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Award went to local artist Mong Mong Sho, Quamrul Hassan Award went to Chinese artist Peng Fei, SM Sultan Award conferred on Rainbow Tse from Hong Kong and Muktijoddha Smriti Bhashkor Parishad Award went to local artist Ramit Chakma.
Twenty-two artists from different countries also received awards in other categories like Landscape, Portrait, Floral/Still Life, Cityscape, Amit Kapoor Award, Daniel Smith Award, Paul Rubens Award and Nevskaya Award.
‘After inception of IWS in 2012, we have been working to promote the primordial painting technique, watercolour, across the world. IWS now has branches in over 90 countries. We are happy that IWS Bangladesh has organized its first biennale’, said IWS president Atanur Dogan.
‘We are very happy to introduce an international watercolour biennale in Bangladesh’, said IWS Bangladesh president Kauser Hossain Masud, adding that it would be organised in every alternative years. .
For artists and art-lovers, the biennale offers a treasure trove of watercolour paintings of diverse styles addressing diverse themes.
Eminent local artists Alokesh Ghosh, Samrjit Roy Chowdhury, Hamiduzzaman Khan, Nisar Hossain, Biren Shome and 180 other local painters are participating in the show along with 295 foreign artists.
Diversity of landscapes of different countries, natural beauty, people and their lifestyles have been painted by the artists.
For instance, the Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Award winning artwork ‘Fisher Boat and Life’ by local artist Mong Mong Sho gives detailed and nuanced portrayal of large boats at a dock.
Quamrul Hassan Award winning painting ‘City in My Heart’ by Chinese artist Peng Fei depicts an aerial view of a cityscape while Muktijoddha Smriti Bhskar Parishad Award winning painting Kaptai by local artist Ramit Chakma features serene beauty of rural village.
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