Catharsis for Bangladesh

Aug 01, 2013, 09:12 IST | Soma Das

Barbed Floss, a group exhibition of artworks by Bangladeshi artists, offers a glimpse of how artists in the country are using the medium to deal with issues around them

Conflict, corruption, religious intolerance — these and other similar topics are the focus of Barbed Floss, an exhibition at The Guild, featuring works by artists such as Tayeba Begum Lipi, Mahbubur Rahman, Promotesh Das Pulak, Molla Sagar and Anisuzzaman Sohel. The five artists explore issues of space with its disputed solutions.

Leap Across Time by Anisuzzaman Sohel

Curator Veeranaganakumari Solanki tells us, “Each artist has a strong individual reflection of issues related to the notion of ‘Barbed Floss’ and expresses it through their use of medium and renewed association with their personal experiences and histories.” At the exhibition, artworks are used as a medium to make people look beyond politics and towards peace and harmony, adds Solanki. The title, Barbed Floss, is inspired by the concept of borders that include barbed wire fencing. “The word ‘floss’ behaves as a cleanser with a fine thread, which removes, cleanses and frees blockages. ‘Barbed Floss’ conjures the antithesis of these two aspects, contradicting and creating new notions with these two terms,” she explains.

Her picks at the exhibition include Pulak Das’ Twins, which speak about the effect turmoil has on innocent lives; Anisuzzaman Sohel’s juxtaposition of beauty and evil through his mixed media drawings; Mahbubur Rahman’s sculptural installations which embody his practice as a performance artist; Tayeba Begum Lipi’s works framed in razor blades, which highlight the history of the sub-continent and Molla Sagar’s videos that are based on the famous songs of Bijoy Sarcar.

Voices from Bangladesh
At the exhibition, four maps by artist Tayeba Lipi will be on display. Lipi admits that the art scene in Bangladesh is nascent but developing gradually. “Artists with new ideas are still in an uncertain condition. There is no gallery representation. Moreover, galleries and collectors are rather inflexible. The younger generation is adapting but since opportunities are rather limited, choosing a constructive path becomes a challenge,” shares Lipi.
Artist Mahbubur Rahman had in the past created art on border issues where he used barbed wire to depict an unwelcoming partition and used cowhide, pigs and army boots to denote religious conflict. At this exhibition, he has fashioned masks out of surgical scissors. “Once you wear the mask, you symbolically move away from your identity. I want to create awareness about people who belong to a divided land. If we are not free to go to another land, especially neighboring countries, we feel suffocated.” He adds, “Due to globalisation and fundamentalism, the diversity of folk art and culture has reduced. But the growing international interest will hopefully be helpful.”

Till August 24, 10 am to 6.30 pm
At The Guild, Colaba. call 22880116 

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