Ziaul Hasan, Toronto, Canada
Art transcends race, language and borders but, at the same time, art is a way for artists to explore self-identity, to assert what they really are and where they belong. For nine Bangladeshi expatriate artists, who have been living in Canada for many years, creating art is actually a quest to promote their cultural identity and the spirit of multiculturalism.
Thus the artists held a group art exhibition titled ‘Art, Where We Belong’ celebrating culture and diversity in November at Scarborough in Greater Toronto, Canada. The artists organised the exhibition under the banner of Art Quest Canada, a non-profit organization they had earlier formed to promote art.
The show exhibited 27 artworks of different mediums and styles including paintings, sculptures, murals, terracotta, realistic and abstract canvases, and woodcut pieces. The works uphold both the spirit of both Canada and Bangladesh—the two countries the artists love, cherish and devote themselves to. They have also depicted relationship, nostalgic moments, family values and womanhood in some of their works.
Artist Iftekher Uddin Ahmed’s mixed media painting ‘Nostalgia’ was on display at the exhibition. Ahmed has depicted a feudal building that would remind its viewers of the rich heritage of the Old Dhaka city in Bangladesh.
Sonia Zaman’s acrylic painting ‘Landscape 1’, on the other hand, presents the lush landscape of beautiful Canada. The paining is bright and colorful, dazzling with all the colours Mother Nature offers in the twilight as it depicts a lake with boats anchored on its banks.
Afroza Chowdhury’s abstract sculpture ‘Mother and Child’ celebrates the bond a mother shares with her child while Rana Kochi’s wood work ‘Family’ upholds the unity among members of a family. The other artists who participated in the exhibition were Syed Nazmul Alam, Shyamal Basak, Syeda Reshma Akhter, Mashiur Rahman and Anwarul Kabir. The two-week exhibition ended on November 23.