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    Sunday, 6 June 2010

    A day of exhibits......

    05 June 2010
    Dhanmondi, Dhaka

    Just came back from watching several exhibitions Saturday. After getting in touch with quite a few photographers in that nice afternoon, we decided to explore Dhanmondi, where all the action was! First went to Alliance Francaise, where the exhibition was on Rural Exodus. 12 photographers participated in this story-based photography exhibition. There were some really large prints, which were nice to see. But the exhibition wasn’t producing that nice feeling. To be honest, it hardly made any impact on any one of us visiting the exhibit. The stories were not there; rather there were two photos each from each story, which couldn’t give any idea about what the full story was about. It was a compromise, and ultimately it came to nothing. And the choice of pictures to bed hung on the wall was also poor in my view. Altogether, it was a real disappointment.

    From Alliance Francaise, we went to Goethe Institute. And quite contrary to our expectations, the exhibit was closed! What the guard said, was that exhibits remain closed on holidays! It seemed like a ridiculous way of promoting something. Usually weekends see the highest number of visitors in any exhibit. But they seemed to be living in a completely different world altogether!

    Anyway, we went to the third exhibit of the day, which was going on at Bengal Gallery. This was a solo exhibit from GMB Akash. The exhibit contained several photo-stories from several places, but all combined under one theme, “Soulscapes”. This was a really good exhibit with a lot of space to talk about. There were photo stories on Varanashi’s Burning Ghat, from a brothel in Dhaka, from cyclone Aila survivors in Satkhira, working children of Bangladesh, suicide farmers from India and old asylum. GMB Akash’s ability to use light has to be considered regarded highly. Some shots made it there only because of the exceptional light conditions. Some classic compositions were also there. The old asylum picture from Nepal with the two old people sleeping on the floor while a woman crosses them, was superb; and in my view, one of the best. His particular fascination for extreme shallow depth of field catches the eye. In some cases, one can debate on the philosophy behind that. There was one whole wall filled with words, and a couple of chairs were placed in front. The words described GMB Akash’s philosophy and his way of work. It shed light on some of the intimate memories he had while building that whole portfolio. Words of wisdom, words of experience. Liked those.

    That’s how we ended our day of exhibit. It was a nice afternoon and evening spending the time with friends. And it was a productive day judging by the amount of discussion we had on the exhibits.
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