Washington, D.C. – The South Asia Regional Art Exhibition "Imagining our Future Together" organized by the World Bank will open on Jan. 22, at World Bank headquarters.
South Asia is the least integrated region in the world, and more and better regional cooperation will help the region to realize its full potential. Breaking barriers is not only about economics and trade of goods and services. Art has the potential to connect people and countries.
To take this vision forward, the World Bank’s South Asia vice presidency and the World Bank Art Program organized a regional competition for young South Asian artists in 2012. It 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. The region will be richer and better if young people get to know each other and discover how much they have in common, how much they can share and learn from each other," said Isabel Guerrero, vice president, South Asia region, World Bank.
The exhibition’s 25 artists come from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It is scheduled from Tuesday, Jan. 22 through Wednesday, Feb. 13.
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 Koshalek, director, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
"As regional cooperation is gaining traction, creative artistic expression has a huge role in bringing about social and cultural change by connecting the young artists across South Asia. We hope this exhibit, which showcases the 25 winners out of hundreds of entries, will be a seed for many more regional shows and networks of artists in the future,” Guerrero said.
The art pieces selected to be part of this exhibition were first showcased in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in October 2012, and in New Delhi, India, in December. After the exhibition the pieces will enter the permanent art collection of the World Bank.