An exclusive art exhibition titled, Homelands: Art from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, showcasing works by 11 contemporary artists of South-Asian origins, is now underway at Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge, UK. Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation (DBF) has supported the exhibition, alongside various other programmes.
“DBF is committed to promoting the engagement and accessibility of South Asian artists around the world, and I am delighted for the foundation to be a part of the exhibition,” said Durjoy Rahman, the founder of DBF. “Through this collaboration, we mark an important moment to strengthen the bridges of cultural and creative exchange between the United Kingdom and South Asia.”
The show engages with displacement and the transitory notion of home, both of which have been pivotal for the modern construction of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
It addresses the continuing resonances and contested histories of Partition in 1947, and the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, which both resulted in mass violence and dislocation, as well as the contemporary instability of home and nationality in South Asia and beyond. Responding to the present climate of intense nationalism, the participating artists deliberately engage with both intimate and political histories, to contest borders and explore the common histories in their works.
Curated by Dr Devika Singh, who currently serves as the Curator of International Art at Tate Modern, the exhibition encompass paintings, video, photography and installation, including a number of new works by Desmond Lazaro, Seher Shah, Sohrab Hura, Yasmin Jahan Nupur, Iftikhar Dadi, Elizabeth Dadi, and Munem Wasif, as well as a newly conceived performance by Nikhil Chopra. The exhibition also showcases works by Bani Abidi, Shilpa Gupta, and Zarina.
The highlighted works from the exhibition include a new photographic project titled, Spring Song (2019) by Munem Wasif. The works record objects Rohingya refugees brought with them to Bangladesh when forced into exile by Myanmar’s military dictatorship. Collected from Cox’s Bazar refugee camps, the displayed objects range from roughly assembled toys to precious family documents and photographs.
Seher Shah’s Argument from Silence (2019) reworks a series of photographs of ancient Gandhara sculptures housed in the Le Corbusier designed Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh, India.
Marking the unique exhibition, an international symposium titled, Homelands: Art, Conflict and Displacement in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan was held yesterday, exploring themes from the exhibition with presentations from artists, writers, researchers and scholars.
Kettle’s Yard is one of Britain’s best galleries – a beautiful and unique house with a distinctive modern and contemporary art collection.
DBF promotes arts and artists from South Asia and beyond, internationally. It supports artists in creating new artworks with relevant exhibitions, publications and residencies. Having offices in Berlin and Dhaka, DBF offers a conduit to connect art and artists all over the world. Inaugurated on November 12, 2019, the exhibition concludes on February 2, 2020.