Young artists showcase works done during COVID-19

Tanzil Rahaman | Published: 22:56, Nov 10,2020


Visitors look at artworks displayed at an on-going group art exhibition Art in Isolation at Kalakendra in Mohammadpur.— Press release

Works of five young artists, showcased in an exhibition at Kalakendra under the header ‘Art in Isolation’, makes any viewer aware of how fresh new talents always seem to want to solve the problem of representation imaginatively and with panache in their formative years.

Created during the time after social distancing and masks had alienated them from their usual streams of life, where comingling and regular conversations played an important part, the exhibition explores the entire spectrum of contemporary languages.

It seems that Mohammad Rabin, Ripan Chandra Banik, Ramit Hasan, Shimul Ruram and Sajib Sen were given the freedom to explore their own languages.

The 26-day exhibition, which commenced on October 27, features a total of 20 works. The artworks have been created using mediums like photography, woodcut print, digital print, collage and installation.

The artworks address issues like the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on artists and their community, deforestation and human conditions.

‘When the government announced the general holidays to contain the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, many freelance artists across the country had to face hard times and galleries were also shut down. Kalakendra offered these five artists the chance to create artworks staying at the gallery. We provided food and accommodation facilities to the artists so that they could continue with their practices without any hesitation in this time of the COVID-19,’ Wakilur Rahman, curator of the exhibition, told New Age.

‘The artworks have been created in between July and October,’ Wakilur added.

Works of each artist are displayed in cluster in the vein of contemporary practices and most artists, though display an adequate knowledge of the medium in use, stay far removed from medium-specificity to tell a story or to address an issue.

To mention a few works, artist Sajib Sen’s series titled ‘Know Thyself’ shows a series of photographs to express various human emotions including fear and uncertainty. The emotions are created using digital medium.

His other untitled work shows a series of hands while in many of the palms human mouth appears. These intentionally incoherent images address the danger that lurks behind human existence in the time of the COVID-19 outbreak as the dreadful virus spreads through hands, mouth and nose.

Artist Ripan Chandra Banik’s painting is the sole medium-specific work in the exhibition. The work, titled ‘Sleep’, shows people from different strata in deep sleep.

Artist Shimul Ruram explored nature by using discarded clothes including T-shirt, jeans and shirts. He painted on these sourced materials to depict the scenic beauty of Bengal, beauty of tress and the ongoing deforestation.

Artist Mohammad Rabin has displayed woodcut prints. His is a series that shows human figure made up on thread. The series seems to refer to human fragility and slows undoing of the body in this trying time.

The exhibition also included a durational performance titled ‘Inner Conversations’, which was done by Efat Razowana Reya on November 7, lasting for 12 hours.

The artist portrayed her firsthand experience of the virus outbreak and how she and her family faced the crisis over the last few months.

The exhibition is open for all at Kalakendra on Iqbal Road in the capital’s Mohammadpur. Visitors are allowed from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily and it will remain open till November 20.

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