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.

 

Bengal Island - 28 July 2013 - 1

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Anup Nag

Shell work by Anup Nag

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Bangladeshi Rickshaw

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Banner Painting - Shites Kumar Sur - 1

 

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.

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Banner Painting - Shites Kumar Sur - 2

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Concert - 1

 

Traditional Bangladeshi music

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Concert - 2

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Debu Achargg - 1

The bus painting is progressing  nicely.

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Debu Achargg - 2

Debu Achargg at work.

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Debu Achargg - 3

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Douglas Brooks and Koji Matano

Douglas Brooks and Koji Matano were also very busy that day.

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Dreaming Boat - 1

 

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.

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Dreaming Boat - 2

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Dreaming Boat - 3

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Four Mirrors - 1

 

The first car of Four Mirrors is starting to look like something.

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Four Mirrors - 2

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Junk Work

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.

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Nazir Hossain

Apparently, Nazir Hossain has been busy making tiger masks lately.

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Oza Metal Studio Takamatsu - 1

 

Oza Metal Studio Takamatsu

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Oza Metal Studio Takamatsu - 2

Atsushi Ozawa at work

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Rattan and Gazir Pat

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).

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Shoker Hari - 1

 

Shoker Hari, painted potteries

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Shoker Hari - 2

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Sibnath Sibu

Sibnath Sibu teaches how to use a dhol (Bangladeshi drum) to a visitor.

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Sital Pati

The Sital Pati (mutra mats) are taking shape nicely.

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Town of Beginnings

Town of Beginnings by Kanae Nagashima et Chika Komatsu
An artwork and a workshop where objects are made from old fishing items.

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Weaving Weaving - 1

 

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).

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Weaving Weaving - 2

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Weaving Weaving - 3

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013 - Weaving Weaving - 4

 

Bengal Island - 28 july 2013

 

To be continued…

 

 

David Billa

David was born and raised in France. After a few years in the US and then back to his home country, life led him to the shores of the Seto Inland Sea in Japan. After falling in love with the area, he decided to show its beauty and all it has to offer with this blog.

4 Responses

  1. N.Mallick says:

    Please let me see more pictures about festival, i mean jute products

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