A Curatorial Note
Bangladesh is a beautiful country with a diverse culture.The presence of different indigenous
communities makes its culture more rich. Indigenous communities have wonderful customs and
unique traditions. There is a special kind of beauty in their simple lifestyle. Even though an
obstacle may sometimes disturb the natural flow of time, there is no barrier that can prevent
indigenous communities from expressing their uniqueness. Their simple presence enriches the
beauty of our Motherland.
Bangladesh and Nepal have held a beautiful friendship for several years. Nepal is a nation
blessed with some of the world’s highest mountains. It is filled with unbelievably beautiful
cultures and colors. The people of Nepal often exhibit patience and calmness. I am completely
mesmerised by all the wonders the country possesses every single time I visit Nepal.
The exhibition “The Spirit of Friendship” will represent 12 young artists from both indigenous
and plain land communities which will be held at Siddhartha Art Gallery in Kathmandu. These
artists grew up in different districts of Bangladesh amidst the beauty of hills and nature. 9 of
these artists are from indigenous communities and 3 of them are from plainland communities.
The artists from the indigenous communities will especially represent their diverse cultures in
different ways on their canvases. They have included the various rituals, traditions, customs as
well as the beauty of their surroundings in their paintings.
The indigenous artists have been born and raised in Bangladesh’s Mymensingh, Moheshkhali,
Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachari areas. The indigenous participants include Mong Mong
Sho, Lumbiny Dewan, Nomosta Rema, Sudhip Chakma, Jayatu Chakma, Pingcu Tripua and
Munna Bong, The plainland artists include Biswajit Goswami, Azmeer Hossain and Sourav.
Each and every artist painted his/her own culture and traditions in his/her own unique style.
Mong Mong Sho
Mong Mong Sho grew up in Moheshkhali, a small island near Cox’s Bazar that is surrounded by
the sea and deep, green forests. The main occupation of people living here is fishing. Mong
Mong Sho’s work focuses on portraits and daily lives of fishermen who risk their own lives
every single day when they travel to the deep sea to catch fish.
Jayatu’s work focuses on the sorrows hidden within the beautiful hill tracts. He tries to revive lost
cultures and the difficulties of people living in hill tracts in his works. He tries to express the
sorrows of women who suffer from negligence even though they play a pivotal role in indigenous
Lumbiny Dewan was raised in a small town surrounded by hills in Rangamati. The Chakma
community in her hometown mainly follow Buddhism. Hence, Lumbiny tries to represent
“Buddha” in her works. She loves to observe the various wonders within the Buddha’s face. She
tries to represent the preachings of Buddha that were intended to provide guidance to people.
Nomosta Rema grew up in a small town in Mymensingh close to the Southeast border in the
“Garo” community. Her work focuses on representing her community’s customs, traditions and
rituals. Her main subject is still life. For instance, she often paints the unique musical
instruments and silver jewelry that are daily used by her community. The people in her
community love to drink and they often make their own drinks in their homes using a very
artistic process. Hence, Nomosta often tries to present this artistic way of making drinks in her
Sudhip Chakma came from a remote area in Khagrachari. He tries to present the dark side of
indigenous communities in his works such as inhumanity, depression and the daily difficulties of
life. Human beings sometimes become so violent that even the teachings of Buddha cannot bring
them towards the right path. Sudhip’s work focuses on the selfishness and cruelty of people.
Pingcu Tripura is from an indigenous community that mainly resides in Khagrachari. The
community is originally from Tripura, India. Pingcu represents the lifestyle of her own
indigenous community. Her specialty is that she completes her paintings with just 2 colors.
Munna Bong is from a remote area in Bandarban. His work is inspired by the deep forests and
hills in Bandarban. He mostly paints wonderful landscapes. He tries to include the forest, the
hills as well as weaving in his works.
Azmeer tries to create a spontaneous emulsion of washes and painting mediums forming a
reactive fusion onto the surface that results in a tactile vibration. The use of masking fluid helps
develop a certain mode of foreground, overlapping and obstructing, creating a linear and
sculpting feel. With capacious black water wash, the placement of his earthly motifs of
birds, buffalo etc. within the pictorial space and their hard edge execution, she creates isolation,
precision, and emptiness. Like in her watercolor painting of the Buffalo in the landscape, she
draws the grasses with fine detail white fluid lines at the edges of the waters, as a separate entity
of layer that adds up to the composition blocking the background as in the real-life creating
dimensional separation. The front object accentuates the background space as in reality and the
surface of blue water can be seen separately in contrast.
An artist's imagination is constantly working to gather and link natural components and fulfill the
curiosity of learning about the fascinating history of human civilization and its eternitarian
existence. For Sourav, the journey started at a very young age, when there were no physical
barriers separating the reality of the world and the realms of the mind. He has been imaginative
since his childhood. Ever since he was a little kid, he loved listening to mythological stories from
his parents and family elders. Apart from taking part in sporting activities, he used to listen to
those stories, and myths and also watch mythological series/shows on TV, wandering in the
fantasy world. He liked to imagine different characters, and used to draw little caricatures from
those imaginations—sometimes a tiger would fly in that realm of thought, and sometimes there
would be various conversations between animals and birds. These are the best things with which
he grew up in the world of stories and imaginations—and later when he started painting, he drew
pictures by matching these imaginations with real life. He has studied history and myth since
childhood, and from that personal research, he sometimes wishes to go back to those periods in
a time machine! Since it is not possible, he time-travels to different eras and periods at different
times through his paintings—sometimes in the Mughal period, sometimes in the Egyptian
civilization, and sometimes in the period of cave paintings.
I am immensely happy to have curated this exhibition in Nepal for these wonderful young artists.
I really appreciate this exhibition idea that had been put forth by the ambassador of Bangladesh,
Mr Salahuddin Noman Chowdhury in order to strengthen the friendship between Bangladesh and
We have a lovely friendship with the owner of Siddhartha Art Gallery, Sangeeta Thapa for
several years as we had exhibited in her gallery many times before. She has been working in arts
and media for a long time and is very well-known among the Bangladeshi artists’ community.
Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to the Ambassador of Bangladesh for inviting me to
curate this wonderful exhibition. I would also like to thank Sangeetha Thapa for organizing this
beautiful event in her gallery.
Kanak Chanpa Chakma