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Exploring the transformative experience of art exhibitions

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Why do we go to art exhibitions? Explaining the answer right away can become daunting. Let's begin with someone famous: Sir Winston Churchill, former prime minister of the United Kingdom. He holds the reputation of being one of the most famous prime ministers of the UK to date.

On his 80th birthday, he received a portrait of himself as a gift created by Graham Vivian Sutherland, a prolific modernist artist. The painting is considered a lost masterpiece. That led to the making of the ninth episode of the first season of Netflix's famous The Crown, titled 'Assassins.'

The beautifully displayed footwear in the stores of the world-famous brand Nike does not simply get prepared in factories. They come from sketches - artworks of the shoes made by designers that demonstrate the overall shape of shoes. Also, the beautiful dresses created by your favourite brands get sketched to be made.

Since the beginning of human civilisation, documentation has become inseparable from keeping a chronicle. Artworks as testaments of the passing of time can speak better than words, as we know that actions speak louder than words.

Speaking of that, The Rosetta Stone is a slab of black granite that contains a decree issued by the Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy V in 196 BC - which helped scholars to decipher hieroglyphics.

You get perks for residing in Dhaka - one of them is seeing quality art exhibitions in the city and experiencing its openness.

Amongst the city's coveted art presentations - free and open for all, are the Young Artist's Exhibition, held annually, and The National Art Exhibition, organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.

Young artists graduating afresh from their respective art institutes participate and try to make the cut. They get to nationally exhibit their artistry and interpret their thoughts, ideas, suggestions, messages, stories, struggles, and moments.

Thinking of the last Young Aritst's Exhibition: is there any need for sitting down with glossy pair of someone's favourite purple pants and performing meditation with any artificial aroma spread around? Modern times ask for renovation in the way we love ourselves - the art piece messages us to do so, for the least.

Even after trailblazing art exhibitions, is there any need to attend them anyway, in a period?

Well, one gets to see more than just a mediocre thought. For example, a plate full of delicious noodles on a hungry afternoon in one's imagination?

An artist at the ongoing National Art Exhibition dug deep and turned the noodle bowl into something striking: drawing human organs onto the noodle, not just eggs, soup, or veggies floating around, keeping the noodle cornered on the bowl. It doesn't make sense.

Fact: Art can make sense and not make sense simultaneously - leaving the watcher with a feeling inexplicable. The inexplicability is in nature too. It remains a mystery why there is only one moon orbiting the Earth. National, international, and cultural subjects that are attracting worldwide attention - are dominating the event.

What can be considered an impactful driving source for creating art pieces that tell stories or make a move, speak up? Social media. An artist contemplates the bird's eye view before applying brushes, pencils, or acrylic.

Thinking about the details, the message, the colour, togetherness, artistry, and mediums - all need to sing together to make the cut. Artists can come across as judgmental if speaking up about anything particular through their art. Even in the real world, if we say something personal, we may appear judgmental too.

However, that is the root of individual presence. Personal experiences and reminiscence can heavily contribute to creating a series of art, for example, Artist Azizee Fawmi Khan's 'Ka'-Shommondhiyo [Connected Speech].' Wearable art?

The artist has a shop selling art-combined wearables too. Another timely installation based on reminiscence by artist Laila Sharmeen titled 'Golden Bengal' recently took place at Alliance Française de Dhaka.

The New Yorker, a wide-known international magazine - organises Cartoon Caption Contest that demands the readers to write appropriate captions for a given artwork. There is more to art than being interesting.

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