Wakilur’s search for new mediaCultural Correspondent
Noted artist Wakilur Rahman, interested in new media, has been experimenting with contemporary art over the years and has already gained acclamation in this endeavour.
Rahman has shared his experiences and observations about contemporary art in Bangladesh in an interview with New Age.
‘Artists from all over the world are now getting more and more interested in contemporary art which involves installation, visual art and even performance arts. And as human life itself has changed a lot in recent years, I have taken an interest in contemporary art. Man’s life is now faster and dominated by modern technologies and so as an artist I also want to involve these new features in art,’ shared Rahman.
The Bangladeshi expatriate artist in Germany currently living and working in Bangladesh also shared that, ‘Contemporary art often involves the visitors within the artistic process, unlike in conventional art where the visitors just remain as viewers. This was another reason that I got interested with contemporary art.’
Wakilur Rahman has recently completed his visual art exhibition titled Khobor Khaddo organised in celebration of 15 years of the Bangla daily newspaper Prothom Alo. At Khobor Khaddo, Rahman used fourteen projectors that projected important news feeds from last fifteen years at the Nalini Kanta Bhattacharia hall of Bangladesh National Museum. The projection transformed the hall into a piece of art.
Besides, Rahman is currently working on combining art with architecture with his architect friend Keshef Chowdhury.
From his experiences as a contemporary artist in home and abroad, Rahman thinks that the local artists are doing well considering the lack of market, logistic support and limited academic institutions in the country.
‘All the art institutions that we have in our country are solely for conventional art and so the students cannot get much information or instruction on contemporary art. In addition, there is lack of logistic support like speedy internet connection and high-tech equipment needed to work such innovative art form,’ said Rahman, who also expressed that even the market for conventional art in Bangladesh is very limited and there is no market for such experimental works in the country.
On the brighter side Wakilur Rahman shared that, ‘Many young artists are trying and doing contemporary works within limited facilities and they are doing so without any hope of financial return. Still the youngsters are trying their best and I highly praise them for that,’ said Rahman.
‘Art is such a medium where progress comes in slow pace. So our artists need more time to develop themselves to world-class rank in contemporary art. Still I am hopeful that they will someday create a place in contemporary art globally,’ expressed Rahman.
The artist also stated that it is possible to create a signature artistic style that will distinguish Bangladeshi art from those of other countries. ‘Yes it is possible but it is a fact that art is an individual process and not
national, so it might also take some time for our artists to develop a signature style in contemporary art collectively,’ also added Rahman.
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