by Faiza Fairooz Rimjhim, Antora Mehrukh Azad, Afsana Sharmin Zhumpa, Farzana Ahmed Urmi, Inan Anjum Sibun, Alia Kamal, Jordan Aswad, Sumana Akter, Bipasha Hayat, Akramul Hijra, Momi Chowdhury, Ayreen Khan, Mehbuba Mahzabeen Hasan, Rasel Rana, Farah Naz Moon, Tahmina Shaily, Taiara Farhana Tareque, and Mandrila Madhurima.
July 28 to August 12, 2023, Dwip Gallery, 1/1, Block D (g floor), Lalmatia, Dhaka
Expressing their reflections on the thoughts and events that impact the deepest recesses of the human psyche, 18 artists have occupied Dwip gallery, where no theme, no curatorial stance and no respectability of space was allowed to hinder their expressions. All artists came together with narratives and expressions of struggle, conflict, anguish, confusions, love and hope and overcoming that range from the personal & intimate to ones that are socio-political and cultural in nature.
Farzana Ahmed Urmi believes that no one can claim any land; a land does not belong to any individual or nation. The concept of land is merely symbolic. No one can own this land. No state will be created. It will only exist in documents, created by connecting lines on paper. The real essence lies beyond the individual. It all starts from the intangible—smell, light, air, breath.
On the other hand, different objects from our regular life show up with greater strength to Farah Naz Moon. Placing those objects in different places makes new stories. Moon aims to recreate the space with the known objects to create new narratives.
The shameless pride of religion, society, politics, culture, racism and nationality are limiting people into body types, skin colors, gender definitions, outfits, and ideas.
In the absence of transparency and accountability the social fabric is torn apart, impacting families and individuals. Sometimes your own family becomes unfamiliar. Faiza Fairooz Rimjhim can’t fathom the meaning of this society’s norms and hypocritical behavior towards its dwellers.
Mehbuba Mahzabeen Hasan courageously uses images of her own body, as well as words and objects, to speak about the trauma of being judged and shamed, for being “fat”, by outsiders and by those close to her, sometimes even teasingly or lovingly. ‘The “F” Word’ is a therapeutic attempt to self-heal through confronting herself, and finally realizing her own worth. After having suffered the ordeal of attempting to achieve the perfect figure, both physically and psychologically, she decided to push her own boundaries, and try to break the rule that one must have the “perfect female body”. This work is not only a means for Hasan to find her own way to freedom, but also for other women, who have faced the same body-shaming, and are a reminder to everyone how casually rooted this damaging concept of female perfection is in all of us.
Alia Kamal sets out on a journey of encountering various known and unknown faces, where she experiences fleeting connections with different individuals. Amidst the cacophony of diverse backgrounds and opinions, one face keeps haunting Ekramul Hijra, who repeatedly wanders alone, seeking solace in the forsaken jungle, looking for something in the relics of the abandoned Kali.
Ayreen Khan searches for the root of Bengali Muslim identity and their set narratives highlighting the psychological conflicts between cultures and faiths. While an anonymous artist is revealing the deepest desires of human instinct and the innermost conflicts of human desires.
Jordan Aswad will express how as they struggle in the midst of whirlpools of two rivers, the intense urge to survive holding on to a bit of straw, too drowns in the face of great waves. No touch, no kiss can bring the corpse to life. The wound of shame spreads in the drowned corpse like bacteria.
‘Poka’ will be here with their work titled ‘আর্শিনগর’. It unfolds in two parts, displaying the polarity within the heartache and grief that consumes Dhaka city dwellers and their desperate attempts to find safety and security within such a claustrophobic structure. They aim to question whether such spaces even exist in reality and to whom they belong in the bigger picture. They firmly believe that once in Dhaka, nothing truly belongs to you—not a person, not your cellphone, not your ideas, not even the sky and its sunsets. In an effort to tell their story, Poka is here to engage all senses of the selves.
Taiara with her ‘Take a Whiff’ will invite you to
come experience smells from top to bottom. From the fruit to the root. We surround ourselves with smells constantly. Going away from her land made her think of the smells she missed, the smells she had and the smells which are rooted to her being her.For plants, smell is a vital form of communication. Her curiosity of smell helped her discover a whole world of communication based on smell.
Rasel Rana with their ‘অস্তিত্ব’ will express how every creature wants to save its own existence in this world. Humans are no exception. Humans hold their existence above the animal world. And every human has his own existence and entity. Some people have to struggle from birth to sustain that being and existence. This work of theirs is to highlight the life story of those struggling warriors where the different perspectives of existence, crisis and society living inside and outside of male and female identity and thought will be highlighted through their paintings.
Our life is like a fairy tale with happiness followed by sorrow and sorrow followed by happiness. From her grandmother’s gift of a pair of gold earrings in a red box when she was a day old to the red ‘katan’ saree of her marriage, which she will have to pass on to her child as she will never have the chance to wear again – a myriad of memories are intertwined in the path of our life. With a small piece of the thousands of thoughts and moments of meeting the self, Tahmina Shaily will be here.
Bipasha Hayat believes that pushing creative boundaries leads to self-discovery and new dimensions in artistic language. Bangladesh and freedom fighters are integral parts of the artist’s life and thoughts. Euripides’ play ‘Trojan Women’ provokes thoughts about war, conflict, and the dark mind attacking the light. She prepares Trojan warriors to fight against darkness and the darkness outside by spreading love.
Antora Mehrukh Azad’s painting installation explores the connection between nature and humanity, highlighting the gradual replacement of the natural world by urban objects. The artificial color palette and citified objects symbolize human influence on the environment and the deteriorating urban landscapes. The neon pink water body symbolizes the crisis as manmade, reflecting the global crisis of urbanization.
Momi Chowdhury, a multidisciplinary artist based in Dhaka, has been practicing stick and poke tattooing for 7 months. Drawing inspiration from international artists, she creates personalized designs using a needle dipped in ink. These tattoos reflect the artist’s imagination and inspiration, combining their skills over the years.
Faiza Fairooz Rimjhim, Antora Mehrukh Azad, Afsana Sharmin Zhumpa, Farzana Ahmed Urmi, Inan Anjum Sibun, Alia Kamal, Jordan Aswad, Sumana Akter, Bipasha Hayat, Akramul Hijra, Momi Chowdhury, Ayreen Khan, Mehbuba Mahzabeen Hasan, Rasel Rana, Farah Naz Moon, Tahmina Shaily, Taiara Farhana Tareque, and Mandrila Madhurima.