The 19th edition of the Asian Art Biennale, the longest-running international art biennale event in Asia, is now all set to welcome the art enthusiasts from home and beyond at the National Art Gallery of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on Thursday.
The month-long art extravaganza will be inaugurated by Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, who will virtually raise the curtain of the biennale as the chief guest of the opening ceremony at the National Theatre Hall of the academy at 10 am.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid will chair the inaugural ceremony, which will be joined by Cultural Affairs Secretary Md Abul Monsur, President of the jury board of the event artist Rafiqun Nabi and jury board Jaroslaw Suchan as special guests.
Sponsored by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the 19th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh 2022 will include 649 pieces of art created by 493 artists from 114 nations, including 149 Bangladeshi artists. Three grand prizes and six honourable mention prizes will be announced at the opening ceremony.
On Tuesday, a press briefing was held at the Seminar Room of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, where BSA Director General and chief coordinator of 19th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh 2022 Liaquat Ali Lucky shared the details of the long-awaited flagship event of the organisation with the media.
"This 19th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh 2022 is dedicated to the country's founding President and the father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who envisioned and established Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy which has been organizing the Asian Art Biennale, the largest art exhibition in Asia, for the past 40 years," Lucky said at the press conference.
The 19th edition will showcase two-dimensional and three-dimensional artworks such as paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures, performance arts, installations and new media arts, crafted and presented by the participating native and foreign artists who channelled their contemporary thoughts through these artworks, Lucky said at the press conference.
Eyeing for a regular event like the previous years, BSA had to postpone the 19th edition several times, according to Lucky. "Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we had to change the schedule for this biennale more than three times. Although we held other major exhibitions within the period, we are really happy to finally host this grand festivity at this time," he said.
The 19th edition will feature a two-day international seminar titled 'Home and Displacement' with the participation of local and foreign artists, art critics, jury and observers. The seminar will be held on Friday and Saturday at the National Art Gallery Auditorium and Seminar Rooms of the National Theatre Building of the BSA.
In addition to the main exhibition at BSA, the Bangladesh National Museum will display 42 artworks of Bangladeshi legendary master artists from its collection as a part of the 19th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh 2022.
The international jurors of the 19th Asian Art Biennale - Iwona Blazwick from the UK, Jagath Weerasinghe from Sri Lanka, artist Nurseren Tor from Turkey, and Jaroslaw Suchan from Poland were also present at the press conference, alongside BSA Fine Arts Director Syeda Mahbuba Karim and BSA Secretary Salahuddin Ahmed.
The 19th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh 2022 will welcome its visitors till January 7, every day from 11 am to 8 pm.