In order to provide a congenial venue for cultural events, the Bengal Shilpalaya, of which the Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts is a part, was established in April 2000. In its amazingly successful run Bengal Gallery has hosted more than 200 exhibitions at home and abroad, showcased the work of over 250 local and international artists, published hundreds of catalogues, and produced 35 documentary films on art. An important part of this first professionally run gallery in Dhaka is to present Bangladesh’s art in international forums-and this it has done successfully in Brussels, Tokyo, Kolkata, Dubai, Toronto and New York. The gallery organizes local and international art camps, workshops and seminars, and supports local art organizations in their work. In line with the objective of promoting art and educating the public, access to all Bengal Foundation events is free of charge.
Sporting more than 3,500 pieces by master painters and other noted artists, the Bengal Foundation Art Repository is said to be the largest collection of contemporary artwork in the country.
Bengal Foundation engages in lateral collaborations to encourage exchange of thoughts, ideas and practices. The Bengal-Khoj Residency Programme is an exchange programme between Kolkata and Dhaka that organizes residencies for practitioners of alternative art. Likewise, the Bengal-Impressario partnership responsible for organizing monthly musical soirees and stage events by Bangladeshi performers in India, has recently kicked off with a series of major events in Delhi.
These and other initiatives form the backbone of Bengal Foundation’s endeavour to share the richness and diversity of Bangladesh’s heritage with other communities.