'The arcade of the arts'
Shilper Aulinde' or 'The Arcade of the Arts' is a parallel exhibition planned by Bengal gallery of Fine Arts to coincide with the 14th Asian Biennale, organized by Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka. Inaugurated on October 6, 2010, the exhibition included 45 art works by 31 renowned painters. Drawn from the collection of Bengal Foundation, of which the gallery is a major component, and Abul Khair Litu, the originator of Bengal Foundation, the exhibition provided a curious mix of paintings for the viewers to mull over.
The Bengal Foundation has been working for the last two decades to promote Bangladeshi art both in and outside the country. One of the principal organizations based in Dhaka, the foundation has so far organized 14 art camps, and played a crucial role in grooming artists by showcasing numerous solo and group exhibitions which the galley played host to in the last ten years.
Among the projects that are in the pipeline, the most ambitious is the museum that will house the entire collection of the foundation. They are eyeing to establish the largest art museum of South Asia. The site has been selected at Bangshibari, Savar. Alongside works by the stalwarts of the Bangladeshi art scene, the museum will also preserve works by young artists.
As for 'Shilper Aulinde', an exhibition conceived around the totalizing concept articulated in the phrase 'major artists', it showcased a large segment of the Bangladeshi art practitioners who have already made inroads into the collective consciousness. From the curatorial perspective it fails to garner much hope, as the pre- and post-liberation eras are represented by names instead of art works that have actual bearing in the context of the chronological development.