The first Asian Art Biennale was held in Bangladesh in 1981. Its establishment was not only to expose the public to the variety of art that is found in Bangladesh and internationally, but to support and develop young artists in their chosen field. Asian Art Biennale was conceived by the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy with the assumption of continuity and change and the co-existence of modernity and tradition in the arts of Asian countries.
Asian Art Biennale is an international event with local artist’s pieces being displayed and works from countries such as Nepal, Iran, China, Thailand, Korea, Pakistan, Egypt, Japan Chile, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Romania, Turkey, Fiji, Italy, Saudi Arabia and many more.
Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh, since its beginning in 1981, has attempted to display the kaleidoscope of various artistic endeavors of our time in which continuity and change come together. The geographical parameter is important only in a generic sense and also for the identification of sponsorship in this pioneering venture. It was inevitable that with time other regions that share, more or less, the same artistic impulses and face the same challenge of forging an identity of their own, would be included in the exhibition as has happened in recent years.The month long exhibition display two and three dimensional artworks like painting, prints, photography, sculpture, installation, performance art and new media art etc. 250 foreign artists with more than 350 artworks and 200 Bangladeshi artists with more than 200 artworks are going to participate in this mega exhibition. Besides, two-day seminar held on September 2 and 3 on the topics of—Art and contemporary narrative and Art pedagogy and promotion.
A five-member jury panel, comprising two from Bangladesh and three from France, India, and Spain, was selected for judgment of displayed artworks in the ‘18th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh 2018’ and selected the best artworks for three grand prizes and six honorable mention prizes. The recipients of grand prizes and honourable mention prizes was awarded at the inauguration ceremony of the ‘18th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh 2018’. Each of these awards accompanied by a medal and cash prize of Bangladeshi Taka 500,000 (five hundred thousand) for each grand prize and Taka 300,000 (three hundred thousand) for each honourable mention prize.
As the host, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy provided local hospitality for up to seven days to four persons (maximum) from each country. Local hospitality includes accommodation, food, local transport, airport pickup and drop etc. There was the grand opening of the exhibition along with cultural program, special dinners, river cruise, seminars and workshops, visits of historical places etc. from September 1 to 5 on the occasion of the exhibition.
Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh, an international biennale art event, organized by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on behalf of the Bangladesh Government since 1981 without any break. The exhibition is the most prestigious and biggest art festival in Bangladesh as well as the oldest international art biennale event in Asia. From the beginning to 2014, the event was the platform only for artists of Asia and the Pacific region. In 2017, the organizing committee of the exhibition decided to expand its glory throughout the world. As a result, artists from 55 countries from around the world had participated in the 17th edition. And this year, the number of participating countries, which is 67, has broken the previous record.