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"9th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh 1999"
1999-07-31 until 1999-07-31
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy
Dhaka, , BD Bangladesh

As the world prepares to enter a new millenium, and take up the challenges that lie ahead, it is forced to look back and re-evaluate its past achievements and failures. Despite the marvelous track record, of this and other centuries, in shaping a global civilization we now call modern, where each country has made its own contribution, the fruits of that civilization unfortunately, have not reached all the nations in an equitable measure. Science and technology have made life on earth richer and happier, but they have not been harnessed properly to improve the conditions of billions of poor people. Wars of unimaginable magnitude have been fought; racial and communal strifes have destroyed many a community, and hunger and poverty are daily companions of about a fourth of the world's population.

However, the picture cannot be entirely bleak because there are some clean, well-lighted areas in our civilization. One such area belongs to art and literature, music and dance, and all the other creative endeavours of human beings, which we collectively call culture. Art and culture can span the seemingly unbridgeable gap that exists among nations and communities. The language of art is universal; therefore it is the property of the entire human race. When individual nations practice and develop their art, it enriches the culture of the world. It is from such an understanding that cultural dialogues and exchanges take place. But for any dialogue or exchange to be meaningful, it should first involve the neighbours, who share similar tastes, values and aspirations. The range then can be extended, and distant neighbours can be reached. The Asian Art Biennale, began with such an aim, and in course of the last 18 years, it has become an event that has linked Asian and Pacific nations in a bond of culture. The Biennale has become a festival that has brought countries together in an attempt to assess the achievements in their art. In place of isolation, the Biennale has fostered togetherness, and in place of individual aims, it has included the possibility of a shared understanding of cultures. The seminar that accompanies the Biennale has opened up the possibilities of discussions and deliberations on various aspects of that shared understanding. The Biennales message has crossed the boundary of the continent: a couple of African nations also took part in the 8th Biennale, proving our point that art is the best link among nations and cultures. The 9th Asian Biennale will be the last one before we enter a new century and a new millenium. We hope that this Biennale will embody our expectations of a world free from hunger and poverty--a brave new world where the beauty of art can be felt and seen in everyday life. All communications and dispatches should be addressed to the Director, Department of Fine Arts, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Segunbagicha, Ramna, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh. Tel:PABX-880-2-9562801-4,9550602,Fax:880-2-9562853,E-mail: bsacharu@vasdigital.com

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