World Bank art exhibit aims to bring South Asia together

Washington, Jan 12 (IANS) "Imagining our Future Together", an art exhibition organized by the World Bank, is aimed at taking forward the vision that art has the potential to connect people and countries in South Asia.

The exhibition's 25 artists come from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Opening Jan 22 at World Bank headquarters here, the exhibtion advances the concept that breaking barriers is not only about economics and trade of goods and services and more and better regional cooperation will help South Asia, the least integrated region in the world, to realise its full potential.

Scheduled to run through Feb 13, the exhibition is the result of a regional competition organized by the World Bank's South Asia vice presidency and the World Bank Art Programme for young South Asian artists in 2012.

The contest received more than 1,000 entries from 231 talented young artists born after 1974 inspired by the idea of a more integrated region.

The theme for the competition was creating a vision for a common future and showcasing the unique beauty, creativity, and challenges of South Asia. Forty-four artworks by the 25 winners of the competition are being exhibited here.

"The idea of an art competition emerged as we were thinking of the power of people-to-people connections in weaving the future of South Asia," said Isabel Guerrero, vice president, South Asia region, World Bank.

Many of the winning artists will gather in Washington for the Jan 22 opening, which will be followed by a panel discussion led by Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, World Bank, and Richard Koshakek, Director, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

The art pieces selected to be part of this exhibition were first showcased in Dhaka in October 2012, and in New Delhi in December. After the exhibition the pieces will enter the permanent art collection of the World Bank.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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