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Two Bangladeshi artists explore ships, life and politics

In 2009, Shumon Ahmed, a visual artist from Bangladesh, decided to accompany his Swedish friend, Jan Gruvborg, to the second largest ship-breaking yard in the worlda��Chittagong in Bangladesh. Little did he know that the photographs he clicked there, using a plastic medium format film camera, would go on to be featured at art exhibitions across the world, including the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2014. The artista��s projecta��a series of 12 photographs titled Metal Grave (an ode to the graveyard of ships)a�� deals with the place, the ships and the people involved. a�?The dead bird in one of the photographs represents the future of the young boys working at the ship-breaking yard,a�? explains Ahmed, adding, a�?My next project is to visit ship-breaking yards in India and Pakistan.a�?
Context is all
Talking about the 38-year-olda��s work, curator Jitish Kallat says, a�?Shumona��s photographsA� are deeply moving meditations on transience and time. They are also reminders of deep maritime histories linked to this harbour and the shorelines of Kochi.a�?
In house
Another Bangladeshi artist taking part in the Biennale is Naeem Mohaeimen, a visual artist and writer based in Dhaka and New York. He has brought down his work titled Kazi in Nomansland, an ongoing project recording the life of a Bengali Muslim poet Kazi Nuzrul Islam. a�?What caught my attention is that Naeema��s work is steeped in the life and politics of Bangladesh, and the contested histories of the subcontinent,a�? signs off Kallat.

Ahmeda��s photographs are on display at Aspinwall House, while Mohaeimena��s work is on display at Durbar Hall. 10 am to 6 pm. Tickets from Rs.50. Details: 2215297

a�� Nimmy Merlien Philip

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