How to take art to mart

Dhaka, Kathmandu artists on a brush with business

By Antara Bose in Jamshedpur
  • Published 14.01.19, 12:16 AM
  • Updated 14.01.19, 11:22 AM
  • a min read
  •  
Dipendra Man Banepali at the art camp in Sakchi, Jamshedpur, on Sunday. (Bhola Prasad)

There’s art and there’s commerce, or are the two interlinked?

Artists from Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Kathmandu (Nepal), along with their Indian counterparts from Jamshedpur, Ranchi and Calcutta, who took part in the 6th annual art camp hosted by Off the Wall art gallery in Sakchi, debated on this question at the colourful four-day event that ended on Sunday.

For the first time, the annual camp had participants from Bangladesh and Nepal, Mohammad Kauser Hossain from Dhaka, N.B. Gurung and Dipendra Man Banepali from Kathmandu.

Hossain, an established artist in Dhaka, primarily works with water colour. Abstracts are his forte. So, how was his experience at the camp where artists painted together and explained themes and techniques to students and laypersons?

“While I feel the art market is better in Bangladesh than in India, art camps are not common in my country,” Hossain said. “But, art camps actually promote cultural exchange and learning of styles and techniques. They broaden horizons. We must do something about camps in Bangladesh.”

On why the art market was better in Bangladesh, Hossain said people actually bought art as gifts for weddings or other occasions.

Gurung, whose semi-abstract canvases in water colour and acrylic are visually arresting, agreed the art market in Kathmandu had improved. “People in Kathmandu understand art has resale value,” he said. “Paintings are like gold. You invest a certain sum now and you get good returns after a decade. The value of a painting appreciates.”

But promoting art takes patience, Gurung, also the president of International Water Colour Society, Nepal, added. “Artists have to constantly track events to display their talent. Social media plays a big role too.”

In all, 19 artists painted about 50 canvases in the four-day camp, which would be later exhibited for sale.