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    ASIAN ART BIENNALE

    Palestinian Grand Prize winning artist on his work

    Ershad Kamol



    Bashar Alhroub with his Grand Prize winning work. — Ali Hossain MintuBashar Alhroub with his Grand Prize winning work. — Ali Hossain Mintu

    Perhaps it is the second great news for celebrations for the Palestinian people after becoming a non-member observer state in UN last week. Depicting the struggles of the countrymen, Palestinian artist Bashar Alhroub has won the Grand Prize at the ongoing 15th Asian Art Biennale, organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.  
    His award winning experimental work Out of the Frame zooms on the personal vulnerability and an experience of existential anxiety strongly associated with issues such as religion, nationalism, conflict and identity construction and looks for meaning not only in the symbol of the individual but in the context of exile and fragmentation.
    ‘It’s a surprise for me as I had no idea that the Asian Art Biennale has a competition section. I’m really glad after winning the Grand Prize competing with artists from different countries of Asia-Pacific region. It’s my first participation in any South Asian country,’ an excited Bashar told New Age after his name was announced on the inauguration ceremony of the biennale on Saturday.
    ‘This award will encourage me in future to do more experimentation,’ he added.
    Bashar Alhroub in his experimental work Out of the Frame has used 12 photo images of different parts of his body which all together create a visual language portraying ‘threatened self-identity through the process of scrutiny and experimentation’. ‘To achieve this I used the body as signifier in the project,’ Bashar said.
    ‘In fact it is an installation of photographs. I used photography just as a medium for expressing the message: in my homeland I’m a stranger for the Isreali occupation.  Different images portray human emotions including pain, anguish, torture, protest, anger and others,’ Bashar told New Age.
    ‘The project has been developed from concepts of paintings, graffiti and mixed media, and has directly dealt with the polemics of a place, how to humanise it and its influence on our creativity,’ Bashar’s note on his work reads.
    ‘My work is deeply influenced by these socio-political sentiments. Questions such as who we are, are often intimately related to questions of where we are, so inextricably bound to defining our location in relation to self and others,’ the note adds. 
    ‘I try to touch the inner state of the viewer by creating a state of chaos to get his or her psychological and emotional attention.  Through this inner confusion, the physical experience forces the viewer to reconsider the self and its relationship with its surroundings, dominated by division and exile, where “progress” seems to mean bloody destruction and enslavement of the human soul,’ Bashar said.
    According to Bashar Alhroub, like him many young Palestinian artists, after taking  training in the western institutes of arts, are doing wonderful experimentations in Palestine.
    Bashar Alhroub was born in 1978 in Jerusalem, Palestine. He grew up in the West Bank in the village Kharas near Hebron, he lives and work in Ramallah. In 2001 he got his BA in Fine Arts from An-Najah National University in Palestine. He completed his MFA in 2010 at Winchester School of Art- University of Southampton in the UK under a fellowship from Ford Foundation.
    He has exhibited his work in his homeland Palestine and other foreign countries including USA, Italy, Poland,  UAE and others.

    http://www.newagebd.com/detail.php?date=2012-12-05&nid=32295#.UzmCtV4wjUo