A Solo Art Exhibition Looks at the Evolution of Bangla Fonts

A view of artist Sabyasachi Hazra’s solo exhibition titled Brahmi to Bangla underway at La Galerie de l’Alliance Francaise de Dhaka in Dhanmondi. — New Age Photo

Artist Sabyasachi Hazra has explored the history and evolution of Bangla fonts in a solo art exhibition titled Brahmi to Bangla underway at La Galerie de l’Alliance Française de Dhaka in Dhanmondi.

The exhibition, which kicked off on June 14, features 38 artworks including prints, a video series and a set of bespoke Bengali calligraphy tools.

A-In the Quest of Bangla Typography, Sabyasachi’s third book, was also launched at the opening ceremony of the exhibition. The book was jointly published by Kathaprokash and Nokta.

“The book aims to discover the practical and aesthetic aspects of standard bangla letters from a typographical, aesthetic and practical point of view,” reads the text of the exhibition.

Contents of the book include evolution of Bangla scripts, shapes of Bangla letters after printing, standard Bangla alphabets, techniques of Bangla calligraphy, typography possibility of Bangla letters, changes in font shape due to media printing and Bangla typographic letters of different period and others.

Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Dhaka, Nisar Hossain, FFA Professor Shishir Bhattacharjee and architect and filmmaker Enamul Karim Nirjhar were present as guests at the inaugural ceremony.

Sabyasachi has recreated over 170 handmade tools that were used to write Bangla fonts at different phases of history. He presented 21 tools in the exhibition.

The artist showed a video explaining the contents of the book and the works presented in the exhibition.

“One of the main goals of the book and the exhibition is to connect with younger generations. Since they are comfortable communicating through videos, we have created a five-part video explaining the evolution of Bangla fonts,” Sabyasachi said.

He also added, “The videos will give the audience an idea of ​​the evolution of Bengali fonts and how local culture, music, architecture, geological boundaries and other factors have influenced the evolution of fonts. Bengali fonts.

A work in the exhibition titled Artistic Bengali Alphabet features 52 Bengali vowels and consonants designed by eminent personalities, namely Satyajit Ray, Quamrul Hassan, Panchanan Karmakar, Madan Mohan Tarkalanker, William Bolts, Pranesh Mondal and others.

The exhibition also features reproductions of covers of important Bengali grammar and alphabet books. Some of the books are, namely, Madan Mohan Tarkalankar composed Shishu Shiksha published in 1849, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar composed Barna Parichay published in 1855 and Ram Sundor Basak composed Aadi Balyashiksha published in 1877 among others.

Photographs and a list of works by ten eminent personalities, who have contributed significantly to the development of Bengali grammar, fonts and typography, were also displayed in the exhibition.

Additionally, the artist has exhibited works depicting Nathaniel Brassey Halhed, Panchanan Karmakar, Charles Wilkins, William Carey, Madan Mohan Tarkalankar, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Kangal Harinath Majumdar, Hara Prashad Shastri, Satyajit Ray, and Fiona Ross.

The exhibition will end on June 25.