Japanese art curator Yuko Hasegawa says
Japanese art curator Yuko Hasegawa is impressed with the standard of the Asian Art Biennale organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
A professor of arts studies and curatorial practices at Tokyo University of Arts and artistic director of Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Yuko Hasegawa is participating in the 17th Asian Art Biennale as an international jury member, this being her first visit to Dhaka.
An exhilarated Hasegawa, with experience of doing curatorial jobs in many international exhibitions such as Sharjah Biennale, says, ‘The space [National Art Gallery of Shilpakala Academy] is big and many quality artworks are on display.’
‘There are many conventional style artworks and a lot of interesting experimental works on new media such as video installations as well.
‘In fact, I had a long cherished desire to be here in Dhaka to know more about the local art as part of my research on South and Southeast Asian countries. This tour has given me a very positive impression of the people and culture of Bangladesh,’ she says.
Though Bangladesh is not economically rich country, Yuko Hasegawa finds the culture here rich.
Economic richness relies on materialism, she continues, adding that more important thing is whether a nation is culturally rich or not and whether people are happy and not.
‘To my understanding, organsing the international biennale for over 30 years regularly is a great achievement for the country and it reflects the country’s rich cultural heritage,’ Yuko Hasegawa says.
She expressed her hope to write about her observations on the culture and art of Bangladesh in her research on South and Southeast Asia.
She observes that Japanese artists and Japan Foundation consider Asian Art Biennale an important art event.
‘The biennale can help create positive image of the country in the world,’ she thinks.
Besides, she says, the authorities should initiate more promotional activities for branding the biennale and the country as well.
‘The authorities should initiate more intensive programmes with cultural wings of the foreign countries such as Goethe Institut and Japan Foundation for promoting Asian Art Biennale globally to attract contemporary best artists of the world,’ she said, concluding, ‘Cultural politics is very important.’
Yuko Hasegawa earlier has worked on many international biennials, and has held such positions as artistic advisor of the 12th Venice Architectural Biennale, co-curator of the 29th Sao Paulo Biennale, and co-curator of the 4th Seoul International Media Art Biennale.
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