Bengal Island – July 28th 2013
Wow, it’s the week-end already (yes, my week-ends start on Sundays) and I haven’t told you about my latest trip to Bengal Island yet! I got to hurry as the next trip may be in just a few hours…
In case you forgot, Bengal Island is this “village” that is at Takamatsu Sunport until September 1st. There, you can see artists and craftsmen from Bangladesh work their crafts and arts every day. Along with them, a few other artists (mostly from Japan) are creating artworks all Summer long in front of you.
The place is fascinating for two reasons. First, it’s a golden opportunity to discover Bangladesh, not through the usual horrible stories that the media always bring back from the country (to the point that I’m sure many people believe that there is nothing good happening there), but through what it has best to offer: its culture and arts. The second reason is that most of the Japanese artists that are working there also have artworks on the islands for the Setouchi Triennale. It’s a priceless opportunity to see them at work and to meet them. Third (yes, I know I said “two” earlier) it’s the human factor. Meeting people from different horizons, different walks of life, but if you’re reading this blog, I suspect that I don’t need to explain you the value of such a thing.
Now, the best way to experience Bengal Island is to return there as many times as possible, to see how things change and evolve (and for the human factor). Hence me going there as often as possible (that is only every week-end unfortunately) and showing you how things are over there.
Shell work by Anup Nag
Shites Kumar Sur paints movie posters by hand!
If I understood correctly, it’s common practice in Bangladesh to decorate movie theaters and some people go there as much for the movie as for the posters.
Traditional Bangladeshi music
The bus painting is progressing nicely.
Debu Achargg at work.
Dreaming Boat de Bunpei Kado
Note that Bunpei Kado is also the author of Air Diver on Ogijima (I’ll tell you about it sooner or later)
I met him two weeks ago and we managed to have an interesting small conversation about his work in Japglish. A very nice guy, I hope we meet again.
The first car of Four Mirrors is starting to look like something.
Junk Work is a project that is directed by Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music that also manages Megi House.
At Bengal Island, they’re making musical instruments from random objects (hoses, pipes, etc).
Those instruments will then be used in a fanfare on November 4th for the Megijima closing ceremony of the Setouchi Triennale.
Apparently, Nazir Hossain has been busy making tiger masks lately.
Oza Metal Studio Takamatsu
Atsushi Ozawa at work
In the foreground, Jaynal makes rattan furniture under the fascinated gaze of a visitor.
Rattan furniture is very common in Bangladesh and they export a lot of it. If you own rattan furniture, it’s not unlikely that it comes from Bangladesh.
In the background, Shambhu Acharya works on gazir pat (painted scrolls).
Shoker Hari, painted potteries
Sibnath Sibu teaches how to use a dhol (Bangladeshi drum) to a visitor.
The Sital Pati (mutra mats) are taking shape nicely.
Town of Beginnings by Kanae Nagashima et Chika Komatsu
An artwork and a workshop where objects are made from old fishing items.
Weaving Weaving is growing and we start getting an idea of what it’ll look like.
One little nice fact: that day I found out that Takashi Nishibori is actually fluent in English (makes sense as he lives in Thailand now and most of the people he works with on Weaving Weaving are Thai students). I ran into him several times in the past, mostly on Ogijima, but never dared to speak to him because of the language barrier (or so I thought). I finally introduced myself and we had a brief chat, but at the moment he was pretty worried about one thing is students were doing, so we didn’t talk long. Hopefully at a future time (I’m thinking video interview here, we’ll see if he has time and is OK for it).
To be continued…