Pakistan High Commissioner to Bangladesh Imran Ahmed Siddiqui said he is working on an album on Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman putting together his photos taken during Bangabandhu’s visit to Pakistan in 1974.
“I’m trying to collect all of them to make an album out of it. That would also be a part of historical archive of our two countries,” he said while visiting the ongoing two-month long group art exhibition titled “Sheikh Hasina: On the Right Side of History” at Cosmos Centre in the city.
Deputy Managing Director of Cosmos Group Masud Jamil Khan welcomed the Ambassador and briefed him about the exhibition.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman attended the OIC Summit in Lahore in February 1974. Then Pakistan Prime Minister ZA Bhutto visited Bangladesh from 27-29 June 1974.
The High Commissioner said several photos were taken at that time and those photos are being collected.
Terming the artworks “extraordinary”, the Pakistan envoy hoped that those who are yet to witness this art exhibition would come forward and see and appreciate it.
He said everything - the scale of emotion and sentiment attached to each of the artwork - is appreciable. “We’re thankful to make an effort to that end.”
High Commissioner Siddiqui said they share the artistic tradition and not just history; it has come down to the blood irrespective of whatever happened. “This feeling and goodwill for each other are continuing.”
He said he was posted in Canada and the US where he had seen the diaspora of Bangladesh and Pakistan making friends and families. “It’s a good reminder of the fact that we share the same roots.”
The High Commissioner said there should be a greater interaction in the landscape of art and he will be very happy to extend any cooperation and any offer of collaboration from his side. “I could facilitate more intensive interaction between our artists. It would be useful for mutual understanding and friendship. So, you’ll find me in all of your endeavours,” said the envoy.
Talking about calligraphy, High Commissioner Siddiqui said it is becoming very popular in many countries both in English and Arabic script. “Artists are giving a new dimension to this form of art. I’ve my own collection of it and whenever you feel, I would be very happy to display it over here.”
Value of Art
Masud Khan said it is necessary to recognise the huge value of art and culture to society as it works as a source of history and emotional healing.
“Art is something that carries the viewer through emotions and thoughts. At this troubling time of Covid-19 pandemic, art has become even more important to our society,” he said, adding that the exhibition is part of the year-long programme to celebrate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Masud Khan said all the artworks in the exhibition are unique and beautiful and every time they see something new through the photos.
The High Commissioner also visited different wings of the Cosmos Group at Cosmos Centre, including Cosmos Atelier71, UNB newsroom and WildTeam office.
Earlier, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram K Doraiswami, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson, Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mustafa Osman Turan, US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R. Miller, Iranian Ambassador to Bangladesh Mohammad Reza Nafar and Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh Pham Viet Chien visited the art exhibition.
Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud formally inaugurated the group art exhibition on December 15, 2020.
Gallery Cosmos in collaboration with the Cosmos Atelier71 recently hosted an art camp supported by the Cosmos Foundation on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu.
Artists Alakesh Ghosh, Ahmed Shamshuddoha, Sheikh Afzal, Nasir Ali Mamun, Bishwajit Goswami, Ratneshwar Shutradhar, Rasel Kanti, Monjur Rashid, Sourav Chowdhury, Maneek Bonik, Jayanta Sarkar, Azmol Hossain, Fida Hossain, Amit Nandi, Didarul Limon, Tamanna Afroz, Fahim Chowdhury, Miskatul Abir, Proshun Halder, Hasura Akter Rumky and Surovi Akter had participated in the camp.
The artworks produced at the camp are being showcased at the exhibition. The exhibition will remain open till February 12, 2021, at Cosmos Centre and can only receive 20 visitors at any one time.
Visitors have been advised to wear masks all the time while visiting the exhibition and maintain an appropriate distance from each other.