Renowned contemporary artist Kalidas Karmakar was recently one of the four alumni artists to showcase their talent at the 55th Asian Cultural Council (ACC) gala on October 3.
The event, chaired by Wendy O’Neill and Mercedes Zobel, is as much a recognition of ACC’s longstanding commitment to promoting cultural exchange as it is a celebration of ACC’s global community of alumni and friends.
While ACC provides the resources, network, and programmatic planning that facilitates immersive cultural exchange, it is their fellows who live out ACC’s mission of strengthening international dialogue, understanding, and respecting both during their fellowship and long into the future.
The gala honoured ACC’s 2017 JDR 3rd Award recipient Shen Wei (Dance, 1995) and two of ACC’s most steadfast advocates, David and Susan Rockefeller.
The multi-award winning Kalidas was the sole South Asian representative in the anniversary gala.
“New York is called the Mecca of Contemporary Art. It is my great honour and pride to represent Bangladesh in the city. I will participate in it with a 55-minute Action Paintings Performance to celebrate ACC’s 55th year,” Kalidas said, “I love doing action paintings while listening to traditional music of Bangladesh. This time, there was no exception. The proceeds will go to a philanthropic cause.”
Trained at what was then the East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts (currently University of Dhaka’s Faculty of Fine Arts) and at the Government College of Arts and Crafts in Calcutta, he began his artistic career in the early 1970s.
His diverse body of work which features found objects, handmade paper, oil on canvas and prints, has been widely exhibited throughout South Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States of America. He has received fellowships for research and creative works from the Governments of Poland, France, Japan, Italy, Germany, Iran, USA and India.
Exhibiting his works at over fifty countries, Karmakar is the recipient of prestigious awards such as the Shilpakala Award in 2017, which he was awarded by the President of Bangladesh for his lifetime achievement in the field of Arts, as well as the highest cultural award of the country, the Ekushey Padak in 2018, and countless other accolades.
He also received an ACC fellowship in 2006 to undertake a residency at the PointB Worklodge in Brooklyn.
Alongside Kalidas, three other alumni artists performed, which included composer and percussionist Susie Ibarra, New York-based artist Nina Kuo and Japanese composer Yasuno Miyauchi. n