Laila Sharmin wins international award
Kim Jin-ha, head of Art Institute POOM, Seoul, may have taken issues with the display at the 16th Space International Print Biennial after detecting an almost untraceable link to the contemporary context and the absence of a curatorial decision to bring the works under a conceptual framework, but for Bangladeshi artist Laila Sharmin, it has been an opportunity to break onto the international arena. Her entry titled 'Datta Dayadhvam Damyata: Shantih Shantih Shantih1' has won her a purchase award at this prestigious international print biennial held at OCI Museum of Art in Seoul. Sharmin is the first Bangladeshi who has won the award in this international event for printmakers.
Sharmin's etching was among 300 or so entries by artists from 45 countries. Including the awarded pieces, a total of 100 works were on display at the Museum in Seosomun-dong of central Seoul. Except two, all of the 13 prize winners were from Asia; among them were Korean artist Chunwoo Nam, whose entry 'We are Here' won the Grand Prize, and Excellent awards went to Grzegorz Handerek of Poland for his 'Cooling Tower-1' by and Yuji Hiratsuka of Japan for the entry 'Garden Posture'.
The five jury members in the award selection body were Professor Kwak Nam-Sin from Korea National University of Arts, Professor Yoon Dong-Chun from Seoul National University, Lee Chuyoung, curator, from National Museum of Contemporary Arts, Korea, Huang Tsai-Lang, director, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, and Jan Pamula, director, International Print Triennale Krakow, Poland. They were in agreement that the entries showed a high level of technical training. Kim Jin-ha too spoke of the technical finesse and a good traditional grounding of the participants though carefully attached a caveat regarding how the exhibition needs to have a clear direction to become relevant in contemporary times.