Gallery Cosmos, a renowned platform supporting Bangladeshi art and artists, honoured the 2023 Ekushey Padak recipient and eminent artist Kanak Chanpa Chakma on Monday night.

The felicitation event was hosted by Gallery Cosmos at the Garden Gallery, Baridhara, in Dhaka.

Chaired by Gallery Cosmos Director Tehmina Enayet, the event was joined by distinguished personalities including renowned Bangladeshi industrialist and patron of arts, Anjan Chowdhury; Ekushey Padak recipient artist-academician Jamal Uddin Ahmed; Cosmos Foundation Director Dilshad Rahman and others.

Born in Rangamati's remote hill area Tabal Chari, Kanak Chanpa received her Master of Fine Arts degree in 1986 from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University. She then attended Pennsylvania State University in the US from 1993 to 1994, where she was awarded a Mid-America Arts Alliance Fellowship.

Having completed her degree, she came back to Bangladesh, continued her artistic journey and became one of the most successful artists in the country's contemporary art scene.

"Art is an expression of our emotions, thoughts, inspiration, and desires. These visions of art become even more majestic through the works of Kanak Chanpa Chakma, who is like a sister to me," Gallery Cosmos Director Tehmina Enayet said at the ceremony.

"Kanak Chanpa is considered one of the most distinguished artists in Bangladesh today, and her art has gained recognition around the world. Many of her paintings reflect the vibrant lives of the Chakma community," Tehmina Enayet said.

"Combining semi-realistic and abstract artistic styles, Kanak portrays the lives of her community - especially the women - in her art; and through winning many national and international awards, she has shown that an artist can still be socially aware and hugely successful at the same time," she added.

Reminiscing fond memories with the artist, Professor Jamal Uddin Ahmed and Anjan Chowdhury congratulated Kanak Chanpa for her brilliance in art and her achievements including the prestigious Ekushey Padak.

"From the very beginning, Kanak has been like a sister to me. There are many accolades but nothing is comparable to this national honour, and she earned that through her dedication and hard work. Not only in her native district Rangamati but wherever I go, be it Khagrachhari, Bandarban, Chattogram or even outside the country, everyone knows Kanak for her work, and she has made us all proud," Anjan Chowdhury said at the event.

Conveying her heartfelt gratitude to everyone at the event, Kanak Chanpa thanked Gallery Cosmos for honouring her achievement.

"I want to thank Gallery Cosmos and Cosmos Foundation, especially my dearest Tonu Apa (Tehmina Enayet) and Enayetullah Khan for hosting this beautiful event on this beautiful evening. The wonderful people who came here tonight on this occasion, I want to thank each and every one of you and I feel blessed to have your presence in my life," the artist said.

"I came here, to the plains, from the hills. I thought that this journey would be impossible, and I could not have achieved the honour and success without your love, support and motivation. I feel incredibly proud and grateful to be honoured with the Ekushey Padak at the state level, and I want your continuous support and love throughout my journey," Kanak Chanpa Chakma said at the event.

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