Bangladesh is maintaining a long lasting relationship with Nepal for centuries; Srigyan Atish Dipankar went to Tibet through Nepal, manuscripts of Charyapada and Vidyapati recently found in Kathmandu by the local scholars, in 1971 during the bloody war the then Nepali Prime Minister Kirti Nidhi Bista opposed the Pakistani aggression to the unarmed people of Bangladesh. In the stream of history, these events got a probe of manifestation of multi-dimensional knots between the countries.
In the sector of fine art, Bangladesh has a very special relation with Nepal since Pakistan period, when artist Manoj Babu Mishra joined the college of fine art as a student of painting department. He is now a big name in Nepal art. In 1981, during the 1st Asian art biennale, Nepali artist Batso Gopal Vaidya got the grand prize with Dr Abdus Satter. After that another two artists from Nepal received Asian art biennale (honourable mention) awards. They are: Kiran Manandhar and Asmina Ranjit. Bangladeshi national award winner artist Muhammad Eunus had a solo art show in Nepal in 2006, Ekushey award recipient Hamiduzzaman Khan, Ivy Zaman, Wazmun Nahar Runty, sculptor Habiba Akther Papia, Mahbubur Rahman, Tayeba Begum Lipi have been maintaining a very good relationship with the artists of Nepal. Besides, former ambassador of Bangladesh in Nepal, Imtiaz Ahmed introduced a new idea of celebrating International Mother Language Day by exhibiting artworks of different countries. In 2007, International Mother Language Day observed in Nepal with the participation of 11 countries.
Recently Bangladeshi artists Prof Samarjit Roy Choudhury, Mostafizul Haque and sculptor Mojibur Rahman participated in an art fusion at Nepal Art Council with their Nepali counter parts. Internationally renowned artists like Sashi Bikram Shah, Kiran Manandhar, Shankar Nath Rimal, Hari Khadka, Jeevan Rajopadhay, Naresh Saiju, Shanto Kumar Rai, Chanda Shrestha, Gautam Ratna Tuladhar, Shyam Lal Shrestha, Pragya Upadhyaya worked day-long with Bangladeshi artists. That was the first of its kind as the senior artists of both countries exchanged their views and thoughts at the same platform.
Samarjit Roy Choudhury took the image of ‘Darbar Square’ in his composition, Mostafizul Haque painted a political thematic Buddha image while Mojibur Rahman painted a scenario of Bangladesh. Among the Nepali participants, Sashi Shah made a big acrylic drawing of horse, Kiran Manandhar completed a semi-abstract painting in acrylic, Hari Khadka painted image of ‘Ganga-Yamuna,’ Jeevan Rajopadhyay painted semi abstract landscape, Chanda Shrestha made a beautiful landscape with trees, waterfall and mountains, Shankar Nath Rimal made a monochrome abstract drawing, Naresh Saiju came with waterfall and hilly villages, Shanto Rai made two female figures, Pragya Upadhyaya made a bridge from imagination in charcoal and wash and Gautam Ratna Tuladhar presented a dancing scenario of ‘Newar’ festivity.
Besides, artists of the two countries made some unique drawings on paper and canvas.
Ambassador of Bangladesh in Nepal, Dr Neem Chandra Bhoumik visited the fusion on June 16 and praised the output of the artists. He shared the idea of exhibiting these works in Nepal and Bangladesh on the occasion of observing August 15 (National Mourning Day).
The fusion was jointly organised by Buriganga Arts & Crafts and Nepal Art Council.
(Writer is an art critic and Curator of Buriganga Arts & Crafts)