"Subjects transcend their purpose" in the photostories by Aneek Mustafa Anwar. Photography and art enthusiasts can experience the best examples of the photographer's works in Dhaka's Kala Kendra at the ongoing solo exhibition that is scheduled to end on 10 October.
Titled 'The Transient', the exhibition showcases five photostories by the artist, which are based on a variety of themes.
How Aneek Mustafa Anwar became a photographer resembles the story of the Farhan character in the famous Bollywood film '3 Idiots'. In fact, the stories are almost identical.
Like the movie character, Anwar also became a mechanical engineer and then decided to become a full-time professional photographer after his graduation from the country's leading engineering university, Buet.
Having graduated as a mechanical engineer from Buet in 2012, Anwar worked for a private company until 2016, when he finally took the difficult decision of leaving the profession. But for the passionate photographer, the risk was completely worth taking.
"It was undoubtedly a very risky decision in my life but it was also the best decision," said Anwar.
On his quest for mastering the craft, Anwar received the 'CrossCulture Programme' (CCP) fellowship by Germany's Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) and is currently the Vice Principal of the Counter Foto photography school in Dhaka, amongst his other achievements.
Capturing fleeting moments
Organised jointly by the German embassy in Dhaka and Kala Kendra, 'The Transient' is curated by Wakilur Rahman.
"We perceive ourselves as transient, within a limited span of existence. Our moods, feelings, perceptions and experiences are all transient. In Aneek's photographs, the subjects transcend their purpose and contribute to shaping scenarios where what we see is 'the time we live in'," Rahman said.
Elements captured in the photostories by Anwar include vibrant colours of Rajasthan, state of Bangladesh's cinema halls, leisurely afternoons in Berlin, and the memories of the photographer's grandmother.
Anwar snapped moments from the annual Pushkar Mela in India's Rajasthan in 2017 when he attended a photography workshop by eminent photographer and photojournalist Raghu Rai.
He captured the scenes of Rajasthan's traditional foods, religious rituals, dance and other cultural activities in Pushkar Mela. In dozens of his photographs, the scenes of dressed up horses, saints, monks and women in colourful traditional dresses reflect Rajasthan's own splendour.
'The Celluloid Story', a series Anwar also started in 2017, documents the declining state of the cinema hall business in Bangladesh.
The series was inspired by the photographer's own experience, as he witnessed the movie theatre in his hometown Khulna slowly go out of business.
"People of all ages used to go to the cinema at least once every week. The cinema hall began to lose its audience, and at one point the owner was forced to demolish it in 2017," the photographer said about the theatre in his hometown.
Since then Anwar has been documenting cinema halls, and the story is part of the exhibition.
The 'Urban Jungle' story shows happy moments of visitors in a park in Dhaka, and the 'Berlin 2019' is a collection of photos Anwar took during his three-month stay in Germany for his CCP fellowship.
The 'Berlin 2019' story shows roads, parks, women and evenings in the historic European city.
In 'Remembrance' Anwar seeks to capture the memories of his late grandmother by documenting items she used in her daily life.
"People of our grandparents' generations did not have too many clothes or other belongings. In fact, they used only the necessary things. I did this story a few days before and after grandma's death," he said.
The exhibition began on 23 September and is set to end on 10 October.
TBS Picks: A selection of photographs from the show with a description from the photographer
A man poses with statues of disney animation characters Shrek, Fiona and Donkey at a park in Dhaka.
The Celluloid Story
An empty cinema hall in Dhaka just before the start of a movie show. Mainstream cinema halls are rapidly losing business as people are moving towards new entertainment media.
A group of nomadic people dance at the Pushkar fair in Rajasthan, India.
A pair of spectacles left behind by grandmother hold significant memories in the heart of her future generations.
People having a relaxed time in Görlitzer park in the Kreuzberg neighbourhood of Berlin. Parks are generally full of people during the afternoon and evening as people finish their day's work and relax in nature.