Acclaimed artist Kanak Chanpa Chakma observed that many young and aspiring artists have been hit hard in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic as art galleries were shutdown since the general holiday began on March 26.
‘Most of the aspiring artists are fresh art graduates who earn their bread by participating in exhibitions. They have been hit very hard as they have no way of distinguishing themselves until the crisis passes. We must stand beside them at this critical time,’ said Kanak Chanpa Chakma.
‘The ministry of cultural affairs and those able in society can support young artists by buying their artworks. Besides, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy can also collect artworks to help aspiring artists navigate through the coronavirus crisis,’ she pointed out.
Kanak Chanpa Chakma urged prime minster Sheikh Hasina to stand by the young artists.
‘I earnestly hope that our prime minister will help the new generation artists as they will put Bangladesh on global art map in the future,’ she mentioned.
When asked whether artists were being helped by art related organisations, Kanak Chanpa replied, ‘As far as I know, Bangladesh Charushilpi Sangsad and others haven’t helped any artists till date. On the other hand different small and silver screen related organisations, namely, Actors’ Equity, Director’s Guild, Natyakar Sangha, Bangladesh Film Artistes Association and others have been helping destitute artistes and TV industry daily workers including make-up artistes, light-man, production boy and set designers. It is unfortunate that artists didn’t receive such help. I am concerned how the young artists will pursue art amid COVID-19 crisis if no one helps them.’
Kanak Chanpa Chakma is currently exhibiting her works at an online charity group art show organised by the Edge Gallery.
‘Edge, the foundation, contacted me to put my paintings on sale at the charity show. I happily participated in the event. The money raised from artwork sales will be spent to help the needy in society,’ uttered Kanak Chanpa.
When asked how she is spending her days at home, the artist said, ‘I have been mostly painting at home and not going out unless it’s an emergency. Besides creating artworks, I am taking care of my pet cats and dogs.’
‘We are living with uncertainty. If the situation worsens, freelance artists will face a lot of hardship. I hope the pandemic will soon pass and things will return to normal,’ she ended.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Miscellany