The Ricksha Arts of Bangladesh – Joanna Kirpatrick

Joanna Kirpatrick is a Cultural and Social Anthropologist. South Asia is her regional area of studies with a focus on both India and Bangladesh. She collected a huge range of ricksha art during the anthropological field visits to Bangladesh between 1975 and 1998. She prefers to use the spelling Ricksha than ‘Rickshaw’ so, we keep it thus in this peice contributed by her. She argues, Ricksha arts cannot be assigned to any static “genre”, they are popular as opposed to “fine” arts. They appropriate multiple forms, which include folklore, classical art elements, and commercial forms. They also reflect the economic globalization process, which is occurring all over the world today, in their fascination with movie stars and narratives, with US disco during the seventies, with foreign travel scenes and fancy red sports cars. Here, she contributed four images of ricksha back panel which are now curated in the U.S. Santa Fe, New Mexico, International Folk Arts Museum. Also, she has send a photograph taken by her of her favorite rickshaw artist  named Alauddin (“Naj”).

 

NagNagini. Robu Art. Rajshahi 1987

NagNagini. Robu Art. Rajshahi 1987

 

Taj Mahal on lotus. unsigned. Dhaka 1987

 

Taj Mahal on lotus. unsigned. Dhaka 1987

 

Lion fighters by Naj. Dhaka 1987.

Lion fighters by Naj. Dhaka 1987

 

Tigers & Lions watch TV. by Naj. Dhaka 1987

Tigers & Lions watch TV. by Naj. Dhaka 1987

 

Naj, wife Hasina, daughter Roma. Dhaka 1982

Naj, wife Hasina, daughter Roma. Dhaka 1982

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