Shades and Sounds of Bangladesh features paintings and tapestries by award-winning Bengali visual artists. The exhibition attempts to showcase a glimpse of Bengali culture.
The works are mostly genre paintings as they depict everyday Bengali life such as the use of boats as a means of transportation, landscapes, flora, fauna, some figural representations, calligraphy, etc. The tapestries, Nakshi Kantha, exemplify thrift since the materials used are old cloth. Though most are utilitarian, some motifs have a magical purpose for the needlewoman such as happiness, prosperity, marriage, fertility, etc. These tapestries are mostly made by women containing proverbs, blessings, Hindu mythology, flora, and fauna.
The artists who have exhibited in Korea, Indonesia, India, Japan, Hongkong, and in the Philippines, are mostly award-winning and are definitely trailblazers in their field of expertise as to most of them teach in art schools in Bangladesh. Most of these artists specialized in painting, and quite a few are printmakers and fabric artists. The exhibition will remain open until September 27.
A Bangladeshi orchestra also performed on the 13th September 2017 on an opening evening. It played Bangladeshi Flute or ‘Bashi’ in the concert. Led by Ustad (Maestro) Murtaza Kabir Murad his ensemble: Mr. Swarup Hossain in Tabla, Mr. Rejaul Karim in violin and Ms. Nishat Afrose and Mr. Iftekhar Hassan in Bashi, played South Asian classical and Bangladeshi folk music.
The performance was attended by diplomats, Bangladeshi expatriates, a cross-section of Filipino society, and faculty and students of the St. Benilde.
The orchestra also played together with the students of the Benilde Music Department blending Bangladeshi music with Jazz and Bluez. The students of the Dance Department produced a dance number, choreographed with a tune of Bangladeshi folk. The collaboration was excellent dialogues between Eastern and Western music and dance. The experience was very enriching both for the students and Bangladeshi performers.
The enchanting tune of Bashi kept the audience mesmerized almost two hours and they truly enjoyed the Bangladeshi Bashi for the first time.
Shades and Sounds of Bangladesh is a cultural exchange product by the Benilde Arts and Culture Cluster and the Bangladesh Embassy in Manila. Coordinated by the Arts Management Program, students from Technical Writing (TECHWRI) contribute content for exhibition labels specifically brief description about the works’ form.