It harbours artists from different forms and genres and fosters the practice of free-thinking. It’s an art hub that encourages artists as well as people from any walk of life into creating, exploring and learning the art of different forms.

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Studio 6/6 is the brainchild of renowned artist and writer Najib Tareque, a well-respected artist, printmaker and writer whose journey in the realm of arts started back in the 80s when he was a student of the Faculty of Fine Arts (Charukala Anushad), at Dhaka University, and her daughter Taiara Farhana Tareque, who herself is a multilateral artist.

Initially, the purpose of Studio 6/6 was to share the artworks of Najib’s family members - Najib himself, his wife artist Farhana Afroz Bappy and their daughter Taiara Farhana Tareque. Later, it expanded its span and turned into an artists’ hub where artists would come and practice their freedom of artistic choices and would create artworks.

Speaking regarding this, Studio 6/6's co-founder Taiara Farhana Tareque told Prothom Alo, "Studio 6/6 represents artists. It's a safe-house for artists where they can work without any hindrance. It aspires to create a space for the artists that enables them to explore the world of their imagination by means of aesthetic freedom. To create a platform for the newcomers and discovering unknown talent from any path of arts are also among the main focuses of our initiative."

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This very unique concept of art space community came into the mind of Studio 6/6’s co-founder Taiara Farhana Tareque when she saw the potential of the open space on her terrace and decided to turn it into a hub for new ideas and unknown talent. Such an initiative earned appraisal from renowned artists of the country.

Sharing the initial days of the studio, Taiara said, “My friend Kamrul and I, along with a bunch of talented guys, who are also my friends embarked upon this journey together. We wanted to create a space where we can gather and share our views on arts regardless of forms as well as holding art exhibitions including new artists, who are yet to break into the scene. It’s basically an art space community where friends within our circle come and practise fine arts.”

The endeavour of Studio 6/6 officially started back in 2015 with the exhibition titled ‘Arts Makes Us Human’ by Najib Tareque which still takes place annually under the same title incorporating newer and older works of the artist. It was primarily an online art project on Instagram and Facebook which started after the artist left his corporate job and devoted himself completely to paintings.

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Since its inception, the studio has so far held six solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions consisting works from various artists within and outside the circle of Najib Tareque’s family.

After “Art Makes Us Human”, Studio 6/6 held another exhibition – ‘Nirman’ which celebrates the return of artist Najib Tareque’s return to the liberty of artistic realm after spending a long time in the corporate world. It also represents the family’s artistic peregrination.

With this, artist Najib Tareque got himself more absorbed in the aesthetic sphere that he was deprived off for long, resulting in a group exhibition by the artists Najib Tareque, Srabon Khan and Rakib Anjan in 2018 organised by Studio 6/6.

In 2019, the studio embarked upon a series of group exhibitions titled ‘Aak’ (One). It assimilates artworks of a bunch of talented artists including Taiara Farhana Tarque and artists in her circle who are based on the art community based on Studio 6/6. It held the series’ second edition titled ‘Dui’ (Two) in 2021. The studio also has a selling platform named ‘Art Bazar’ targeting comparatively new collectors where the artworks of these exhibitions are sold.

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Studio 6/6 held a solo exhibition titled “water bodies” by artist Nabil Rahman during the pandemic stricken days in 2020. The exhibition was held maintaining the health guidelines.

In the days of lockdown during the first wave of pandemic, the studio invited various artists to stay at its premises to create art as it was impossible to hold an exhibition or share art in person at the time. A number of artists responded. They stayed at the studio for 30 days and created art which turned into an art exhibition one month later consisting of the artworks they created at Studio 6/6.

In 2022, the studio held an art exhibition named ‘Rang Michhile Swapno Gantha’ on the launching of a collection of poetries by Mahmud Khurshid which were inspired by the artworks of Najib Tareque. The unique exhibition compiled the artworks of Najib Tareque along with the poetry it inspired.

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But the activities of studio 6/6 are not only confined to holding art exhibitions. In 2016, the studio decided to go beyond just holding art exhibitions. It decided to hold workshops and discussions on art. And within just one year, the studio had held numerous workshops on various forms of arts including script writing. It held a terracotta and clay pottery workshop in 2019.

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Another notable event was the workshop titled ‘Katakuti’ conducted by Kazi Tahsin Agas Apurbo held in 2020.

In February 2021, Studio 6/6 organised a painting workshop – ‘Colours’ where all the artists were females. It was conducted under the supervision of artist Farhana Afroz. Later, an exhibition was held at the Shilpakala Academy assimilating the artworks created during the workshop.

The studio organised a sculpture making workshop in 2022. It was conducted by renowned sculptor and multidisciplinary artist Anisuzzaman Faroque.

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Apart from holding art workshops, the studio also arranges discussion sessions on arts on a regular basis. It organises a series of discussions titled ‘Shilpo Adda’ where renowned artists as well emerging artists take part share their visions and thoughts on art. Artist Najib Tareque conducts these discussions. The sessions of ‘Shilpo Adda’ are available on Studio 6/6’s YouTube channel.

The studio organises another discussion session – ‘Shilpobodh’ where Najib Tareque discusses various aspects of modern arts and conducts practice sessions.

Besides, Studio 6/6 also organises regular discussion sessions ‘Art Makes Us Human’, the annually held art exhibition by Najib Tareque, where the likes of renowned artist Shishir Bhattacharjee, professor Nisar Hosain and many more renowned individuals in Bangladesh’s art scene are regular faces.

Apart from that, the studio holds numerous informal discussions on arts on a regular basis.

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The studio also has started taking commissioned works. In 2021, the studio was commissioned to make a 200-feet long wall art by Aarong in the capital’s Tejgaon area. Some 11 artists worked for this work under Studio 6/6. It was curated by the studio’s co-founder Taiara Farhana Tareque.

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Since 2019, Studio 6/6 has been holding musical sessions and guitar clinics (workshop). It has already held numerous musical shows and guitar workshops and sessions apart from holding exhibitions and discussions. It aims to promote indie bands like ‘Kaktaal’ and electronic music.

Asked about the financial aspects of the studio, co-founder Taiara said, “Yes we take money for holding sessions or exhibitions. But that is only to cover our expenses. Money was never our priority nor will it be. Our main focus has always been art and its practitioners regardless of genre.”

Regarding the future aspirations, she said, “We are about to open an outlet at the weekend home created by famous architect Marina Tabassum in the capital’s Uttara. We have a target to hold three exhibitions of artworks by Najib Tareque. And we are open for any new idea, workshop or event. Also, we are looking for unknown talents.”

For more information, visit studio 6/6’s Facebook page.

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