|Name:||Asif Emran Khan|
|University:||Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST)|
ARCASIA 2015 hosted a competition among its member countries inviting students to rethink about historical sites so that they can have active role in societies instead of being only a function less empty shell or a tourist attraction. The theme was METAMORPHOSIS -implying that the design should make the chosen historical site to evolve and change with time with active functions while retaining and demonstrating its former glory of the past. The following idea project is an entry from SUST, Bangladesh where the participant tried to incorporate functional Metamorphosis through Art within the ancient fabric of Panam (Painam) Nagar.
A building moves not. Then how to make it ‘change’ with time? How to make it go through METAMORPHOSIS? My idea is based on the ancient capital of Panam in Bengal.
Sonargaon was the capital of the ancient kingdom ruled by Isa Khan of Bengal.
Today, old Sonargaon is home to some of the oldest buildings in Bangladesh. Sonargaon was known for “The City of Panam” and was a focal part of the renowned Deva Dynasty until the thirteenth century. The still remaining ruins of the buildings were the residence of Hindu businessmen.
In those days, no city at the east Bengal was near as wealthy as Panam.
All the buildings in the city were built facing a single road, which is 5 meter wide and about 600 meter long. In the city, there still remain 52 buildings. The whole city is surrounded with artificial canals. The site seemed to pose a great variety of ancient drama but somehow it was at a pause. With no inhabitants, the buildings reminded of great glories of past but also despaired at its present condition. So I intended to bring some life into the city by means of art.
The idea is to engage the buildings in a program. The ancient buildings will be the host for artists, sculptors, archeologists, architects, photographers, painters & students of the respective subjects. Each year, the students from each place will stay for certain periods of time and ‘create’ from their specialization based on the ruins of the ancient buildings. The sculptors will create sculptures depicting the ancient period and use the buildings themselves as stage or platform or represent the ideas abstractly on the same theme. The painters will paint from their own observation of the buildings which can represent time- ‘past or future’. The photographers will keep on clicking. Open exhibitions will commence for each terms- submission and people will find the same ancient place with a new look every time. In this way, the building will not remain as an empty packet for eternity, rather it will serve as the vessel of new art. In this process, the history of the buildings can also be spread as well as awareness to respect its importance will be appreciated.
The buildings shall act as vessels & platforms for new art. Every year, the whole place shall be depicted and conceptualized by artists & students differently changing the environment of the building regularly. The building thus responds to change and is not lost in time. The delicate structures of the buildings are not harmed and also can be repaired where necessary. The buildings now serve as 3d canvas while proudly upholding its own ancient identity.