Artist wants to paint a new Bangladesh | india | Hindustan Times
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Artist wants to paint a new Bangladesh

K Chakma wants world to know about the rich cultural heritage of the country known more for its poverty.

india Updated: Apr 04, 2006 15:56 IST

Bangladeshi artist Kanakchanpa Chakma, whose painting won the best prize at an exhibition in the US, says she wants to show to the world the rich cultural heritage of the country known more for its poverty and underdevelopment.

Chakma's work "Searching for Peace" was felicitated at the American Museum of Art exhibition in Florida, held to mark the International Women's Day, according to The Daily Star.

Chakma, who won a similar prize in 2001, said she was happy not only because she won the prize but also because Bangladesh had come into the limelight.

"The world thinks of our country as a poor nation, devastated by floods, famines and overpopulation. I want them to know the positive side of Bangladesh too - that the country inspires creations that surpass others in thought, imagination and beauty.

"We are very rich in our culture as our roots go back to thousands of years, and this is something that cannot be minimised," she said.

The painting, an acrylic on canvas, shows a Buddhist priest moving away from a background of red that stands for conflict, bloodshed and disorder. Nearby is a large gleaming bell that denotes peace.

"My works are purchased because they are good. Not because I am a Buddhist or a tribal," said Chakma who has won many national and international awards.

"People sometimes say that I represent the ethnic, so I'm different. As a consequence people buy my work. There are other Chakma artists too but their work has not won the popularity that I have been lucky to get. I believe that I'm working as a mainstream artist bringing up subjects of international importance."

Chakma has just returned from Pakistan where she had been invited by a women's charity organisation. In a somewhat novel event in Karachi, she painted while Farida Parveen sang in the background.

The money from the sale of the painting was donated to victims of last year's devastating earthquake.