Bridging Cultures

Celebrating 50 years of friendship between UAE and Bangladesh through art

By MWB Desk

A four-day group exhibition “Bridging cultures: Celebrating 50 years of UAE-Bangladesh diplomatic relationship through art” was on display at American University in Dubai (AUD). The event, which was inaugurated on May 20 by HE Mohammed Abu Zafar, Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Permanent Representative to IRENA, also included an art camp featuring 10 Bangladeshi artists, and was organized by the Consulate General of Bangladesh, Dubai, and Northern Emirates, in association with Bangladesh Art Week and American University in Dubai (AUD).

UAE was the first Gulf country to recognize Bangladesh and establish diplomatic relations after its independence. Bangladesh opened its embassy in Abu Dhabi on March 23, 1974. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman visited the UAE in 1974 and laid the foundation of the relations between the two countries. The most important visit from the UAE side was that of Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1984.

“We assure you, this is the first of many more such events to come” ~ H.E BM Jamal Hossain, Consul General Of Bangladesh, Dubai and Northern Emirates

In celebrating these unique moments of friendship, Bridging Cultures featured 11 Bangladeshi artists and 5 Emirati artists. The participating artists comprised of Jamal Ahmed, Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Shahjahan Ahmed Bikash, Jamal Hossain Anisuzzaman, Dulal Chandrow Gain, Nazia Andaleeb Preema, Abida Hossain, Hasura Akhter Rumky, Md Sajedul Islam, and Suborna Morsheda from Bangladesh. UAE artists included Dr Mohamed Yousif, Nujoom Alghanem, Jassim Al Awadhi Afra Salman Al Suwaidi, and Rashid Abdalla Almulla. The works on display were curated by Bangladesh Art Week Founder Niharika Momtaz and coordinated by Imdadul Haque Soofi. Members of this group have exhibited in prestigious events such as Venice Biennale, Documenta, Alliance Francaise Dhaka. Asia Biennale Sikka, and RAK Fine Art Festival, etc.

The selected artists represent the burgeoning, vibrant, socially conscious, and bold community of artists that live and work throughout Bangladesh and the UAE. As well as the artists’ considerable facility with materials, their strength emerges through the diverse forms of representation that their work encompasses; whilst reflecting their own distinct perceptions of a unique geographical environment.

The event was closed by Mohammed Mahtabur Rahman (Nasir) CIP, Chairman of Al Haramain Perfume and Industries and NRB Bank on May 24.

“ Bangladesh Art Week is very happy to be part of this event to celebrate the golden jubilee of our diplomatic relationship through art. We have a diverse group of 15 talented artists of which 35% are women” ~ Niharika Momtaz, curator and founder of Bangladesh Art Week

Michael Rice, Chair of the Visual Communication Department and Professor of Studio Art at the American University in Dubai stated: “AUD is very pleased to host this event celebrating and commemorating 50 years of UAE/Bangladesh Arts and friendship. The exhibition and art camp were both fantastic successes and we look forward to more collaboration with all the artists involved.”

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