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Roots

Curated by Bishwajit Goswami. Research assisted by Sumon Wahed
This exhibition was made possible through the initiative and dynamic
energy of Brihatta

Roots


Curated by Bishwajit Goswami. Research assisted by Sumon Wahed

This exhibition was made possible through the initiative and dynamic energy of Brihatta


Artists in Bangladesh have played a key role in building the institutions that support artistic production in the country, from founding formal institutions like art schools (such as Zainul Abedin with the Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka and Rashid Choudhury with the Institute of Fine Arts, University of Chittagong) as well as informal art education outside of the capital (S.M. Sultan’s Shishu Swarga and Charupith). Dhaka based artist and educator Bishwajit Goswami’s exhibition examines the transfer of knowledge by art educators who have been critical in the building of Bangladesh’s art history. 

Roots


Curated by Bishwajit Goswami. Research assisted by Sumon Wahed

This exhibition was made possible through the initiative and dynamic energy of Brihatta



Roots explores the transfer of knowledge by 61 art educators who have been critical in the building of Bangladesh’s art history through painting, sculpture, ceramics, craft, and other forms of art. They are represented not only through their art works but also related archival material that connects them across time and space. Zainul Abedin (1914–1976), Safiuddin Ahmed (1922–2012), Quamrul Hassan (1921–1988), and S. M. Sultan (1923–1994) were pioneer artists and educators who established fertile ground during the 1950s-60s that allowed artists from East Bengal (1947–1971) to transform from colonial subjects into artists who expressed their unique voices in a newly Independent Bangladesh. After Independence, the next generation of artists of the 1970s and 1980s were more focused on trying to relocate their artistic identities in a global context. Building on the foundations laid by Abedin, Ahmed, Hassan, and Sultan, the artists in this exhibition were crucial to the creation of the contemporary art ecology of Bangladesh. Their work in and outside of the studio and classroom has had a lasting influence on multiple generations of Bangladeshi artists. Their art and thoughts have had an influence on wider Bangladeshi society.


Decolonial Awareness and Action


There was a strong sense of decolonial awareness in the 1950s that pervaded the art scene of what was then East Pakistan. Several Muslim students and teachers from the Government School of Art in Calcutta opted to move to East Pakistan to develop their own distinct style after the 1947 partition of India – among these artists were Zainul Abedin, Safiuddin Ahmed and Quamrul Hassan. Zainul Abedin, for example, founded Dhaka’s art institute in a context that previously had no recent history of institutional or professional art. What this first generation of artists initiated was not only a stylistic shift, but a call for the rethinking of East Bengali cultural practice, in addition to identifying its lack of institutional representation. They founded institutions to allow this culture to flourish in the new context of East Pakistan, and later Bangladesh.  


Building from Scratch


The first generation of teachers in what is now the Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka made deliberate strides to cultivate a context for artistic expression outside of British or West Pakistani domination. The school was and continues to be an intellectual meeting point and its building designed by Muzharul Islam made it one of the first examples of modern architecture in East Pakistan, if not all of South Asia. These teachers were politically active and vocal against the injustices imposed on them by West Pakistani rulers. They participated in mass movement demonstrations as part of the Language Movement of 1952 leading up to the independence movements of 1969–1971, remained involved in the struggle for democracy of 1980s and later participated in the anti-fundamentalist uprising movements of the last two decades. Newlyfounded formal institutions like art schools as well as informal art education platforms outside of the capital (S. M. Sultan’s Shishu Swarga and Charupith in Jessore (1985)), artists such as Zainul Abedin with the Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka in 1948, Rashid Choudhury with the Institute of Fine Arts, University of Chittagong (1970), and Shoshibhuson with Mahesharpasha School of Art; currently Fine Arts School, Khulna University (1904), established deep and resilient roots allowing the culture of East Bengal to spread its branches all over the country.


The Birth of Bangladesh


The birth of Bangladesh was made possible by a shared hope of creating a secular, democratic and socialist country where Bengali culture would flourish. It was a cultural movement before it was a nationalist one. The government’s commitment to create institutions to nurture the country’s culture was not limited to Dhaka – it extended to Chittagong (Southeastern Bangladesh), Rajshahi (North Bangladesh), and Khulna (Southwest Bangladesh). The 1971 war renewed the search for inspiration from Bengali cultural heritage and sparked a new impulse to communicate with the population at large by incorporating social and political interpretations into art. Quamrul Hassan depicted the furious face of West Pakistani aggression and encouraged people to demolish it in his poster Annihilate These Demons. In 1988 he again awakened the people against the authoritarian ruler of HM Ershad by inscribing his last drawing with the title 


The country is under an impudent ruler.


Many of the artists in the 1950s such as Aminul Islam ( 1931–2011), Murtaja Baseer (1932–), Rashid Choudhury (1932–1986), and Abdur Razzaque (1932–2005) went abroad for higher education and trained in the art centres of the ‘Western world’ (France, Italy, USA) where they came in contact with avant-garde movements. Looking eastward, Mohammad Kibria (1929–2011) travelled to Japan where he adopted a style of abstraction influenced by Japanese (as well as American) philosophy. 


The artists of the 1960s searched for expanded and more meaningful involvement with ideas that had begun to dominate artistic and aesthetic discourse combining local and international influences. Hashem Khan (1941–) and Rafiqun Nabi (1943–) are notable examples of artists who portrayed local issues through illustrations and cartoons. Mustafa Monwar (1935–) invested his time in introducing art and creative practices to the masses through his widely broadcast television show that taught children how to express themselves with puppets, drawings, and watercolours. A great deal of passion flowed through the works of the 1970s where the impact of the Liberation War was visible. The re-emergence of figurative art was a welcome relief from the obsessive preoccupation with abstract formalism of the previous decades. Hamiduzzaman Khan (1946–), Chandra Shekhar Dey (1951–), Alok Roy (1950–) and many other artists demonstrated an interest in the increased ‘localisation’ of themes and forms. The second generation of East Pakistani Artists of the 1960s worked in parallel with the first generation of Bangladeshi Artists of the 1970s with their teaching and artistic activities. They began to develop the local art scene by introducing art criticism, exhibition and graphic design to support the public dissemination of art. They established formal exhibition platforms (such as the Asian Art Biennale (f. 1981), which is the oldest continually running biennial of contemporary art in Asia) to share their work with both local and international audiences.


The generation of the 1980s developed a critical point of view about history and reality to combat the oppressive dictatorial regime of Ershad. The artists from the Shomoy Group (Dhali Al Mamoon (1958–), Shishir Bhattacharjee (1960–), Nisar Hossain (1961–) and others) blended elements of diverse social issues and represented time and history. The contribution of this generation of artists is significant; they brought about new readings of modernism, altering the art world and its values (more information about this generation can be found in Mustafa Zaman’s exhibition at DAS on page 83). 


Roots, Branches, and Leaves; Generations, Collectives, Individuals


The works of art in this exhibition visually stand for the individual contributions of 61 artists as they developed unique styles while being mentored by artist-pedagogues from the previous generation. When the socio-political environment was stable (which it rarely is in Bangladesh) artists became more focused on their personal practices and strove to build an art market in this young country, and several opened up commercial art galleries. However, during the several periods of unrest in the country, many shifted their focus to activism. They built collectives and artist groups to create a support system to push their radical ideas and demand for reform into being. This energy carried across generations, and the borders between individuals, groups, and generations are ambiguous. Visitors are invited to form their own narratives of connectivity across space and time through the artworks themselves, but also through the underlying networks that built the art scene of Bangladesh that we experience together at DAS.


A Guide to Bangladesh’s Art Schools


Name changes of cities, streets, and buildings are common in South Asia, and the institutions described in these biographies are referred to by multiple names. The guide below is an attempt to map out how the four main art schools of Bangladesh were referred to at different times of their history.


Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka:

Government Institute of Arts, Dacca (1948–1963)

East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts,Dacca (1963–1971)

Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca (1972–1983)

Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka

(1 September 1983 – 1 August 2008)

Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka

(2 August 2008 – present)

Institute of Fine Arts, University of Chittagong:

Department of Fine Arts, University of Chittagong

(1970–2010)

Chittagong Art College (1973–1984)

Government Art College, Chittagong (1984–2010)

The Department of Fine Arts and Government Art

College combined together to form Institute of Fine

Arts, University of Chittagong (2010–present)

Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Rajshahi:

Rajshahi Arts & Crafts College (1978–1994)

Department of Fine Arts, University of Rajshahi

(1994–2015)

Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Rajshahi

(2015–present)

Fine Arts School, University of Khulna:

Maheshwarpasha School of Art/ Arts (1904–1983)

Khulna Art College (1983–2009)

Institute of Fine Arts, University of Khulna (2009–2019)

Fine Arts School, University of Khulna (2019–present)




Abdur Razzaque

Simultaneously a painter, a printmaker and a sculptor, Abdur Razzaque is known for his Jagroto Chowrangi (The Vigilant Crossroad), a memorial sculpture dedicated to the valiant Bengali Freedom Fighters from 1971 at Gazipur, Tongi. Razzaque earned his Fine Art Degree from the Government Institute of Arts, Dacca in 1954 and then received a Fulbright Scholarship to study Fine Arts at the State University of Iowa, USA in 1956, where he continued as a research assistant until 1957. Upon his return to Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) in 1958, he joined the Government Institute of Arts, Dacca as a teacher. He established the first sculpture department in the country in 1963 and dedicated himself to the development of the academic programme at a time when figurative sculptural representation was considered antireligious and was therefore discouraged. b. 1932, Shariatpur; d. 2005 in Jessore



Abdus Shakoor Shah


Over a large span of his career, Abdus Shakoor Shah’s work has been drawing on folk motifs and ancient Bengali ballads including Mahua and Malua love stories, Nakshi Kanthar Maath, Gazir Pata, Manasha Pata through painting, tapestry, batik and serigraphs. Shakoor was encouraged by his mentor Rashid Choudhury to work with heritage, culture and myths while studying at the Department of Fine Arts, Chittagong University. As a teacher, he inspires his students to find inspiration from the region. He earned his BFA from the East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1970, and his Post Graduate Diploma from the M.S. University, Baroda, India in 1978. He is an Honorary Professor of the Department of Craft, University of Dhaka and formerly held the position of Director of the Institute of Fine Art. 

b. 1946, Bogra; lives and works in Dhaka



Abul Barq Alvi


Abul Barq Alvi, a painter and printmaker, has been an inspiration for several generations of Bangladeshi art students. During the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971, he was arrested by the occupying forces and incarcerated and tortured. The war left a deep scar in his psyche that changed his perception of reality. Instead of recording external impressions, he became more interested in exploring the inner world of nature where images are reduced to their essential forms. He completed his BFA at the East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1968 and conducted postgraduate research at Tsukuba University, Japan from 1983–84. He is currently Honorary Professor of the Printmaking Department, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka where he held the position of Dean from 2012 to 2014.




Abul Monsur


Over a more than three-decades-long career as an art educator and writer, Abul Monsur applied his literary practice to contribute to the field of art theory and art criticism, also promoting Bangladeshi artists through publishing artist monographs. To integrate the disciplines of art and literature, Monsur and his friends published the annual magazine Proshongo in 1985 and later established Shilpo Somonnoy (a space for young artists) in 1999. As a student, Monsur was involved with the collective Oti Shamprotik Amra that created a 13-panel mural in 1972 narrating the history of Bangladesh which was part of the India- Bangladesh Friendship Fair in Calcutta (considered to be the first international exhibition of an independent Bangladesh). Monsur started his career as a teacher in the Department of Fine Arts, University of Chittagong and taught theory until 2012. He completed his studies at the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1972 and received his MFA in Art History from the M.S. University in Baroda in 1982. b. 1947, Chittagong; lives and works in Chattogram



Abu Sayeed Talukder

Abu Sayeed Talukder played an important role in developing the foundation for modern ceramics and studio pottery practice in Bangladesh, by introducing modern techniques and concepts such as crystalline glaze and establishing ceramics as a mainstream art medium. He experimented with pottery-making, primarily using terracotta. He completed his BA in 1985 and his postgraduate diploma in 1986 in Ceramics at the Central Academy of Applied Art, Beijing, China. He became a teacher at the Ceramics Department, Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka in 1987 where he had previously completed a certificate course in 1980.



Alok Roy


Alok Roy is known for his monumental figurative sculptures combining folk and classical terracotta style in a contemporary fashion. Inspired by the ancient architecture of Bengal, his sculptures often carry fragments reminiscent of architectural forms and are also often situated in outdoor environments, interacting with the elements of sunshine, wind, and rain. One of his finest masterpieces that combines sculpture and architecture is his residence Aroni, where he also established Chittagong Sculpture Center in 2018, a space for students to share knowledge about sculpture. Alok Roy completed his studies at the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1973 and earned his MFA from M. S. University in Baroda, India (1978). He later served as a teacher at the Institute of Fine Arts, University of Chittagong from 1978–2016. b. 1950, Mymensingh; lives and works in Chattogram



Aminul Islam


Aminul Islam was arguably the first artist to introduce mosaic murals to the art scene of Bangladesh. The Osmani Memorial Hall, Dhaka has a great example of his mural work on its entrance. An autobiographical streak runs through many of his paintings. His figures gradually became more suggestive and more geometrically organised later on in his career. He drew his designs from various sources, and his compositions became more focused and articulate. He was a student of the first batch of the Government Institute of Arts, Dacca. He completed a Fine Art Degree in 1953 and studied in Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze in Florence from 1953–1956. Later he became a teacher at the Institute and became its principal in 1978. b. 1931, Narayanganj; d. 2011, Dhaka


Anwarul Huq

Anwarul Huq was one of the initiators of the Government Institute of Arts in Dhaka in 1948 and served as a teacher until 1977. He made significant contributions to the development of the curricula of the school. Anwarul Huq was the founding teacher of the Department of Drawing and Painting. He was a somewhat reclusive figure, preferring to stay away from the public gaze, focusing on institution building activities such as teaching and administrative duties. He completed a Fine Art Degree in 1941 and a ‘Teachership’ Course at the Government School of Art, Calcutta and taught there until Partition in 1947, after which he relocated to Dhaka. b. 1918, Uganda; d. 1981 in Dacca



Banizul Huq


Banizul Huq was a vital figure in the foundation of two major art institutes in Bangladesh: Chittagong and Rajshahi Art College. Huq joined Chittagong Art College in 1973 as one of its first teachers. While teaching there, he built a hostel for the art college students to transform it into a residential campus. But soon after, he left the institution to establish Rajshahi Art College in 1978 which is now the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Rajshahi. He remained there as founding principal until 1986. Huq was a painter whose work reflected the serene beauty of nature with surrealist motifs. He completed his BFA at the Bangladesh College of Arts & Crafts, Dacca in 1973.

b. 1948, Gaibandha; d. 2018, Dhaka


Bulbon Osman


Despite having a background in sociology, Bulbon Osman has dedicated his career to the teaching of art history. He completed his BA in 1962 and his MA in 1963 at the Sociology Department of the University of Dacca. Osman began his teaching career in 1966 as a teacher of the ‘Sociology of Art’ at the East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca. Osman’s

involvement in theory has also inspired him to become a self-taught artist working across painting and printmaking. He contributed to the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra (Free Bengal Radio Centre) during the Liberation War of 1971. Osman is currently serving as an Honorary Professor of the History of Art Department, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka.


b. 1941, Howrah; lives and works in Dhaka



Chandra Shekhar Dey


Chandra Sekhar Dey’s canvases capture the magic of everyday life in Bangladesh and its stories, mostly focusing on urban landscapes. His unique use of the colour white in his art practice is notable and stands out in the Bangladeshi context. He worked as a teacher at the Chittagong Art College from 1973– 1977 and from 1984–1988. During that time, he also

volunteered at several cultural spaces in Chittagong. Active as a student, Dey was one of the key members of the collective group Oti Shamprotik Amra that created the 13 panel Abahoman, Bangla Bangali murals in 1972. He completed his BFA at the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1972 and his MFA in 1975 at the Fine Arts Department, University of Chittagong.

b. 1951, Chittagong; lives and works in Dhaka



Debdas Chakraborty


Debdas Chakraborty works across various mediums and disciplines creating artworks that are distinct for their combination of lines that build up abstract geometric forms. His Bristi (Rain) series is the finest example of his style. As a politically aware artist, Chakraborty’s artworks repeatedly depict social realism, but in an abstract form. Debdas Chakraborty taught at the Fine Arts Department of Chittagong University for about a decade from 1970–80. During the Liberation War of Bangladesh, he worked as a designer for the temporary Government of Bangladesh. Chakraborty completed his art education at the Government Institute of Arts in 1956.



b. 1933, Shariatpur; d. 2008, Dhaka



Dhali Al Mamoon

Dhali Al Mamoon is known for his versatile experimental works, both in terms of their ideas and the diverse media employed. His drawings, paintings, sculptures, installations and videos explore history and identity of Bengal. He finds it difficult to escape history and is driven by the need to articulate the social and political imperatives of the nation. His art writings reflect his anti-colonial standpoint and reveal the inferiority complex issues of colonised people in their cultural contexts. He was a founding member of the Shomoy artists’ group, active from 1980 to 1995. He completed his Master Degree in Fine Arts at the University of Chittagong in 1984 and received the DAAD Fellowship at the Hochschule der Kunste, Berlin, Germany from 1993–94. He is a Professor in the Department of Painting, Institute of Fine Arts, University of Chittagong and one of the most influential teachers in Chittagong.


b. 1958, Chandpur; lives and works in Chattogram




Farida Zaman

Farida Zaman has been an inspiration for women in Bangladesh over her five decade long career due to her persistence to keep working against all odds. The artist’s subjects interact with time and space, and she is particularly well known for her fishnet series. Zaman has published illustrations and articles in journals across Bangladesh. She completed a BFA at the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1974 and an MFA at the M.S. University, Baroda, India in 1978 and later earned a PhD from the Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, India in 1995. She is an Honorary Professor of the Department of Drawing and Painting, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka.



b. 1953, Chandpur; lives and works in Dhaka

Foyejul Azim


Foyejul Azim’s artistic journey centres on the theory of art which he taught from 1982–2018 at the Institute of Fine Arts, University of Chittagong, publishing several theoretical books parallel to his painting practice. In 1992 he published a collection of articles entitled Charukalar Bhumika, defining fundamental concepts of Fine Arts and their visible processes, helping Bangladeshi art students to enrich their theoretical knowledge. Bangladesher Shilpakalar Adiparba O Aupanibeshik Probhab is another one of his research contributions. Foyejul Azim completed his MFA at the Fine Arts Department of Chittagong University. He earned his PhD from Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta in 1994.



b. 1953, Cox’s Bazar; lives and works in Chattogram



Golam Faruque Bebul


Golam Faruque is an abstract painter and printmaker and his works are notable for their fragmented imagery with varying forms and compositions that depict the anguish and joy of life. His abstract imagery includes a vocabulary of abundant and varied textures and colours and his layering techniques create enhanced expressiveness. He earned his BFA in Printmaking from the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1978. He later earned an MFA in 1985 in the same subject from the Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka. He is a Professor of the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Rajshahi.


b. 1958, Jamalpur; lives and works in Rajshahi



Hamiduzzaman Khan



Hamiduzzaman Khan is known for his large-scale public sculptures that are found in Dhaka and across Bangladesh. His work is associated with the Liberation War and freedom fighters, and he uses a wide variety of materials in his sculptures from metal to marble to wood. While his own individual works on these themes began while he was a student in Baroda, the work became more ambitious while he assisted his teacher Abdur Razzaque in executing Jagroto Chowrongi in Gazipur in 1972. Khan earned his BFA in painting from the East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1967. His travels in Europe sparked his fascination for sculpture in urban and public space, and he later enrolled in an MFA programme in sculpture at the M.S. University, Baroda from 1974–76. He interned at the Sculpture Centre in New York from 1982 to 1983. He is an Honorary Professor of the Department of Sculpture, University of Dhaka. 


b. 1946, Kishoreganj; lives and works in Dhaka



Hashem Khan


Hashem Khan’s school textbook covers and illustrations have been inspiring many generations of students to pursue art; his simple drawings effortlessly connect to the people and their daily life. His painterly work is romantic, abstract, and colourful. He actively participated in the Liberation War of 1971 and produced many works addressing the subject to rally the cause. Hashem Khan was one of the designers and illustrators of the handwritten Constitution of Bangladesh of 1972, under the supervision of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin. He completed his Fine Art degree at the Government Institute of Arts, Dacca in 1961. He was a faculty member of the Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka from 1968 to 2017.


b. 1941, Chandpur; lives and works in Dhaka



Hashi Chakraborty


Hashi Chakraborty was one of the pioneers in synchronising regional and global forms in his paintings, most of which demonstrate a strong presence of nature, the sea in particular. His work explores ideas of progression and epic consciousness. During his undergraduate years Chakraborty founded the Painters’ Group along with his friends in 1973. He joined The Chittagong Art College as a teacher after completing his education at the Bangladesh College of Arts & Crafts, Dacca in 1972 and earned an MFA from the Fine Arts Department of Chittagong

University in 1974.


b. 1948, Barisal; d. 2014, Chittagong


Hritendra Kumar Sharma


Hritendra Kumar Sharma is an artist and an art educator. A contrasting use of light and shade

on the surface and drawing-based abstraction dominates his work. His powerful lines create visual illusions and generate dynamic space on the surface of the work. He completed his BFA in Drawing and Painting at the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1981. He later earned an MFA in 1984 in the same subject at the Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka. He became a lecturer in Rajshahi Arts & Crafts College in 1989.


b. 1961, Netrokona; lives and works in Rajshahi



Jamal Ahmed


Jamal Ahmed’s artworks portray two-dimensional painted figures against pastoral and urban scenes. He is known for his use of colour and textured surfaces and his ability to invoke drama and tension. He earned a BFA from the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1978 and an MFA degree at Tsukuba University, Japan in 1982. He studied oil painting in Japan from 1982 to 1984 and completed another year-long research course in Warsaw, Poland in 1980. Ahmed is currently a Professor at the Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.


b. 1955, Dacca; lives and works in Dhaka



Kazi Abdul Baset


Kazi Abdul Baset’s work varies from realism to abstraction with a distinct richness of colour. He completed his BFA at the Government Institute of Arts, Dacca in 1956, and his MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago under a Fulbright Scholarship from 1963 to 1964. While studying in the USA, Baset was influenced by abstract expressionism. Baset was at the forefront of those who tried to introduce abstract expressionism in Bangladesh and played an important role in modernising painting. In 1957 he joined what is now the Faculty of Fine Art University of Dhaka as a teacher, the Director of the Institute of Fine Art (1991–94) and the head of the Drawing & Painting Department. He retired in 1995.


b. 1935 Dacca; d. 2002 Dhaka


Kazi Rakib


Kazi Rakib is recognised for his glass paintings although he also works in a variety of other media. Rakib was a founding member of the Dacca Painters 1974–1977, an artists’ group inspired by Surrealism and Dada. In 1981, he created a series of prints denoting the corruption, killing, political instability, economic crisis and social discrimination of the time, part of his longstanding work as an artist-witness. Rakib completed his BFA in 1977 at the Department of Fine Arts, University of Chittagong. He was one of the founding teachers of Rajshahi Art College from 1979–1984. He regularly wrote on art and aesthetics for a newspaper named Dainik Barta.


b. 1958, Shariatpur; lives and works in New York




KMA Quayyum


Stories originating from the sensibility and expectations of life find their place on the canvases of K M A Quayyum. His journey in the field of art finds its distinct identity through the use of a melancholic colour palette. While influenced by western naturalism, Quayyum’s subject matter remains grounded in Bangladesh. After completing his studies at the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1973, he completed his MFA degree at the Fine

Arts Department, University of Chittagong in 1975.

He started his teaching career at the Chittagong Art College in 1978 and taught there for four decades.


b. 1952, Comilla; lives and works in Chattogram




Lala Rukh Selim


Lala Rukh Selim is a sculptor, academic and researcher who was a member of Shomoy, an influential artists’ group active during the 1980’s and 1990’s. She was the editor of ART, a quarterly Journal active from 1994 to 2004 that played an important role in disseminating English texts about art in Bangladesh. She edited the ‘Arts and Crafts’ section of the Cultural Survey of Bangladesh Series, published by the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh in 2007. She completed a BFA at the Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka in 1984 and earned an MFA at the Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan, India in 1989. She was the lead partner

for the Faculty of Fine Art in the INSPIRE project which was an educational exchange program with the Slade School of Art, UCL, London, UK from 2010–2017. She is a Professor of the Sculpture Department, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka.


b. 1963, Dacca; lives and works in Dhaka



Mahbubul Amin


Mahbubul Amin played an important role in the country’s fine art movement through his service

as a teacher for three decades, helping students to choose their artistic paths. Amin’s works reflected various motifs of village life, both human and nonhuman. Although his taste was enriched and polished by urban life, his mind was filled with the essence of the soil. Amin completed his BFA at the East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1970 and joined

the college as a teacher in 1972.


b. 1948, Mymensingh; d. 2001, Dhaka


Mahmudul Haque


As an artist and teacher, Mahmudul Haque introduced different printmaking and painting processes to his curriculum. Haque’s stylised artworks are non-representational; line, color, shape, textures are dominant on the surfaces of his prints and paintings. He cooperated with the Bengal Foundation to establish the Safiuddin Bengal Printmaking Studio, an alternative space for artists. He completed his BFA at the East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1968 and an MFA at Tsukuba University in Japan in 1984. Haque was a visiting Professor at Tsukuba University and the Indus Valley School of Art and Design, Pakistan. He is an Honorary Professor of the Department of Printmaking, University of Dhaka and held the position of Director of the Institute of Fine Art from 1999 to 2002.


b. 1945, Bagerhat, lives and works in Dhaka




Maran Chand Pal


The cultural history and heritage of Bangladesh inspired the work of Maran Chand Pal. He made a great contribution to the practising and conservation of traditional pottery folk dolls (i.e. Tepa Putul, peacocks, elephants, horses). He transformed forms and ideas from traditional dolls into impressive sculptures with his unique style. He was one of the first students of the Department of Ceramics at the East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca where he completed his certificate course in 1964. He later joined the department as a teacher in 1965. Taking his teaching role outside of the classroom, he also taught ceramics to local youth as a tool for improving their livelihood.


b. 1945, Dacca; d. 2013 in Dhaka



Matlub Ali

 

Matlub Ali is an artist, art educator, art critic, writer, lyricist, composer and playwright. He has been contributing to Bangladeshi literature through numerous books on the socio-political scenario as well as the country’s art and culture. He is highly influential in the development of art historical writing. He completed a BFA in 1969 at the East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca and an MFA in 1987 at the Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka. He joined as a lecturer of Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts in 1973 and retired as a Professor of Drawing and Painting, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka in 2012. He held the position of Dean, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka from 2010 to 2012.


b. 1948, Rangpur; lives and works in New York



Mir Mustafa Ali


Mir Mustafa Ali was an artist and art educator who played a pioneering role in the development of ceramics as institutional practice in Bangladesh. He was the founding head of the Ceramics Department at the East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca. He completed a Fine Art Degree at the Government Institute of Arts, Dhaka in 1955 and later went to England to study modeling and ceramics at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London from 1956–1960. Zainul Abedin took the initiative of opening the Ceramics Department in 1961 and invited Ali to join as a lecturer in 1963. Ali collected traditional ceramics and donated those to the department’s permanent collection to enrich the students’ knowledge of the medium. He was the Director of the Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka from 1986 to 1988.


b. 1932, Burdwan, British India; d. 2017 in Dhaka


Mohammad Eunus


Mohammad Eunus is a painter and graphic designer whose versatile style enriches the scenography of major events like Amar Ekushey, Zainul Utsab, and many convocations at Dhaka University. He is also known for his painting, which is inspired by abstract expressionism but carries familiar textures of urban society. His canvases depict the effects of time, the rotation of the planet, and the cycle of the seasons through the use of texture across various shapes and forms. He earned his BFA from the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1978 and an MFA from Tama Art University, Tokyo, Japan in 1987. He is currently a professor in the

Graphic Design Department, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka.


b. 1954, Thakurgaon; lives and works in Dhaka


Mohammad Kibria


Mohammad Kibria was an abstract painter and graphic artist who is remembered as one of the first successful non-representational artists in Bangladesh. Guided by Hideo Hagiwara while studying in Japan, Kibria learned to apply precision and balance to his painted surfaces, values that he passed onto his students. Kibria was inspired by abstract expressionism and his early-works articulated architectural concepts and geometric influences that recalled cubism. He completed his art education at the Govt. School of Art, Calcutta, India in 1950, and studied at the Tokyo University of Arts from 1959–1962. Prompted by Zainul Abedin, in 1958, Kibria joined the Government Institute of Fine Arts and taught painting and eventually moved to the printmaking department. As a teacher and artist, he inspired students and others to be open minded and to create art in a global context.


b. 1929, Birbhum, British India; d. 2011 in Dhaka


Monirul Islam


Monirul Islam is one of the most influential living artists in Bangladesh known for his constant search for new methods of painting and print-making which also involves making his own paint and paper. He studied at the East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts in Dacca from 1961–1966. He was a teacher at the same college in Dacca from 1966–1969 and left teaching for higher studies in Spain, studying mural paintings at the Madrid Academy of Fine Arts. Even while abroad, he remained in touch with Bangladeshi artists and conducted workshops when visiting Dhaka in order to pass down his methodology.


b. 1943, Chandpur; lives and works in Dhaka and Madrid


Monsur Ul Karim


Monsur Ul Karim expresses himself through paintings that speak to the co-existence of nature and humanity. Coming from Rajbari, a district near the bank of Padma River, he has depicted the life and struggle of people displaced by erosion, using bright and vibrant colours. His works on the hilly region of Bandarban are calm with cool compositions of blue and green. He founded Monon Academy (2005–2015) and established an artists’ group called Amader Chattogram 95 in order to keep the art scene in Chittagong alive. In his retirement, he founded ‘Bunon Art Space (2016–) in his hometown of Rajbari. Monsur Ul Karim earned his BFA from the Bangladesh College of Arts & Crafts, Dacca in 1972. He received his MFA degree from the Department of Fine Arts, University of Chittagong in 1974 where he taught from 1976–2015.


b. 1950 Rajbari; lives and works in Rajbari


Mostafizul Haque


Although Mostafizul Haque has been teaching painting at graduate and postgraduate level and made a considerable contribution in developing a culture for educating children in Fine Art. Very conscious about the relationship between children, art, and psychology, he implemented this knowledge to introduce new techniques to help children learn more effectively. He completed his BFA in 1978 and MFA in 1981 at the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca. He later earned another Master’s degree in Japanese Painting from the University of Tsukuba, Japan in 1995. He is currently teaching as a professor in the Drawing and Painting Department, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka.


b. 1957, Bagerhat; lives and works in Dhaka


Murtaja Baseer


Murtaja Baseer is known for his ‘abstract-realist’ paintings reflecting his daily experience of Bengal. In 1967, he started the Wall series, his first step towards abstraction, which depicted the entropy and layers of textures and colours on the walls of old Dhaka, a reflection on the society under the dictatorship of Ayub Khan (1958–1969). He actively participated in the Language Movement of 1952 and pre-Liberation War demonstrations. He was sent to jail throughout the East Pakistani period for his leftist political views and later left for Paris. Baseer enrolled in the Government Institute of Arts, Dacca in 1949. After earning the degree in 1954, he studied at the Academia di Belli Art of Florence from 1956–1958. He later studied mosaic making at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (1971–1973) and Etching and Aquatint in Academie Goetz in Paris, France from 1972–1973. Baseer is also a writer, poet, numismatist, and acted as an academic at the University of Chittagong until 1998.


b. 1932, Dacca; lives and works in Dhaka


Mustafa Monwar


Mustafa Monwar is a painter, art educator, designer,media personality and cultural activist. He participated in the language movement of 1952 and during the 1971 Liberation War he organised puppet shows at refugee camps in West Bengal to inspire and encourage people in the midst of war. Monwar’s television puppet show Moner Kotha ran on Bangladesh Television for twelve years and had a great impact on the children of that generation. Through his television show, many children learned about the different techniques of art. He runs the Dhaka-based organisation Educational Puppet Development Centre (EPDC). He studied at the Govt. College of Art and Craft, Calcutta in 1959. Monwar started his career as a teacher at the East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca from 1960–1963. He later joined Bangladesh Television (BTV) as Director General and went on to become Director General of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and the National Media Institute. He also served as a managing director of the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation.


b. 1935, Magura; lives and works in Dhaka


Naima Haque


Women and the mother–child bond dominate both the paintings and illustrations of Naima Haque. While earning her MFA, Haque took on the challenge of engaging with the male-oriented discipline of graphic design and later made this her tool to reach out to mass audiences, educating children with her illustrations, story books and witty poems. Being a prominent member of Shako (an association of female Bangladeshi artists established in 2003 that works for the welfare of women), she frequently works closely with organisations across Bangladesh who support groups that are marginalised by society. She completed a BFA in Drawing and Painting at the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1974 and an MFA in Graphic Design at the MS University of Baroda, India in 1983. She joined the department of Graphic Design at the Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka in 1987 as a lecturer.

b. 1953, Dacca; lives and works in Dhaka


Nasreen Begum


Nasreen Begum broadly practices oriental-style wash painting. Her fluid use of color reflects the restlessness found in capturing the beauty of a passing moment and employs age-old techniques in a contemporary manner. Colour plays a great role in her works and one of her best-known bodies of work is the Cactus Series where women and nature are depicted symbolically. She completed a BFA in Oriental Art at the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1978 and an MFA in Printmaking at MS University, Baroda, India in 1983. Nasreen Begum is currently a professor of the Department of Oriental Art, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka.


b. 1956, Chuadanga; lives and works in Dhaka


Nazlee Laila Monsur


Nazlee Laila Monsur depicts social relationships and issues of urban life in her own distinct style. She looked for inspiration from Indian miniature painting and rickshaw paintings of Bangladesh, transforming these traditional techniques with characteristics of her own. Her paintings display a narrative tendency and use bright and vivid colours. Set in an urban surrounding, symbolised by the presence of crows and rickshaws, her figures seem to be in a mystical mood torn between belonging and non-belonging. Nazlee completed an MFA

at the Fine Arts Department of University of Chittagong in 1976. She started her career as a teacher at Chittagong Art College in 1976 and retired in 2009.


b. 1952, Rajshahi; lives and works in Chattogram


Nisar Hossain


Nisar Hossain is a versatile artist, academic, researcher, organiser and cultural activist. He was

a founding member of the Shomoy group. Hossain rejected the complacent geometry and singleviewpoint perspective pursued by many artists of his time. His work today includes elements of performance art, sound art, installation, photography and pantomime to create moving images of our time. His research articles on folk art are published in national and international journals. He earned his BFA from Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1981 and his MFA from Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati, Santineketan, India in 1985. He is a professor of Drawing and Painting Department, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka and holds the position of Dean.

b. 1961, Dacca; lives and works in Dhaka


Qayyum Chowdhury


Qayyum Chowdhury was known for his illustrative paintings and book illustrations. He designed many book covers and posters which are still used until this day. He used motifs of folk art more for stylistic reasons than for their content. He focused squarely on the rich style of folk art – its decisive use of lines, its decorative designs and ornamentation, and its detailed workings of various leitmotifs. He was the convener of the Charu Karu Shilpi Songram Parishad during the Liberation War in 1971. He completed his Fine Art degree at the Government Institute of Arts,

Dacca in 1954. Chowdhury joined the same institute as a teacher in 1957 and then took a job at the newly established Design Centre and within a year joined the Pakistan Observer where he served as its chief artist. He later returned to the East Pakistan College of Art and Crafts in 1965 as a teacher. Although he retired in 1994, he continued teaching there until 2002 as Honorary and Supernumerary Professor.


b. 1932, Feni; d. 2014 in Dhaka


Quamrul Hassan


Quamrul Hassan was a painter, designer and art educator who was always politically active and

is perhaps most famous for the poster Annihilate These Demons of the Liberation War of 1971. He was involved in the Non-Cooperation movement (1969–70) and also took part in the Liberation War, serving as the Director of the Art Division of the Information and Radio Department of the Bangladesh Government in Exile. He completed a Fine Art Degree in 1947 at the Govt. School of Art, Calcutta, India. After Partition, Quamrul Hassan came to Dacca and, in collaboration with Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, established the Government Institute of Arts in 1948. He taught at the same institute until 1960. The East Pakistan Small and Cottage Industries Corporation was established under his leadership in 1960, and he worked there as Director of the Design Centre until his retirement in 1978. Politically active until his death, one of his last sketches became an inspiration for a mass movement that brought about the downfall of the Ershad regime in 1990. Annihilate These Demons, Poster of a representation of Pakistani General, 1971. Courtesy of Liberation War Museum, Bangladesh


b. 1921, Calcutta; d. 1988 in Dhaka


Rafiqun Nabi


Rafiqun Nabi (also known as Ranabi) is a painter, print-maker, art educator and cartoonist, best known for his creation of the icon Tokai. Tokai is a character that represents poor street children who live by begging and scavenging from the garbage and have a knack for telling simple yet painful truths about the current political and socio-economic situation of the country. His Tokai character has become a nationally adopted icon and has inspired many students to become cartoonists. He completed his art education at the East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1964. During 1973–1976, he studied printmaking at the Athens School of Fine Arts with a scholarship from the Greek Government. Nabi joined as a teacher at East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts in 1964 and served as a member of the Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka until 2010 and held the position of Dean. He is currently the Supernumerary Professor in the Department of Drawing and Painting, University of Dhaka.


b. 1943, Chapainawabganj; lives and works in Dhaka



Ranjit Das


Ranjit Das’s romantic works seek to capture the essence of nature with an abstract and poetic

disposition. His canvases reflect his experience with colour, space and time through his expressive brush strokes. Das was influenced by Picasso, Rembrandt, Matisse and other European painters as well as Indian contemporary art that he encountered while pursuing a Master’s degree at the M. S. University, Baroda in 1981. He completed his BFA at the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1975 and worked as a teacher in the Fine Arts Department, the University of Chittagong.


b. 1956, Tangail; lives and works in Dhaka


Rashid Choudhury


Rashid Choudhury’s work is unique among his contemporaries as the source of his inspiration was not folk art but rather folk-lore. His works explore the myth, magic and the legend of both Muslim and Hindu cultures living across rural Bengal. While he painted with oil and gouache, Choudhury is best known for his tapestries. He was a significant pioneer in the modern art movement from as early as the 1950s, creating many hand-woven tapestries for government as well as private buildings. He studied at the Government Institute of Arts, Dacca from 1950 to 1954. He went to Madrid on a scholarship at the Central Escuela des Bellas Artes de San Fernando from 1956 to 1957. Returning from Spain, he joined the Institute of Arts as a teacher in 1958. He obtained a French Government scholarship to study at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts from 1960 to 1964. In 1970, the Fine Arts Department was established at Chittagong University and Choudhury joined as one of its first teachers and played a major role in developing the department. He was also a leader in establishing the Chittagong Art College in 1973. His works can be found in the permanent collections of Tate and the Metropolitan Museum of Art through the initiatives of Samdani Art Foundation.


b. 1932, Faridpur; d. 1986 in Dhaka


Rokeya Sultana


Courtesy of the artist and Ms Nilu Rowshon Murshed Rokeya Sultana’s painting and printmaking practice is largely focused on her inner life and an exploration of the feminine experience. Sultana’s works recall the relationship between mother and child, the apathy of girl’s care, and the struggles of ‘liberated Bangladeshi women’ as compared with the contemporary global status of women. Her Madonna series is a well-known body of work that carries a strong determined feminist statement. She earned her BFA from the Bangladesh College of Arts & Crafts in 1980 and her MFA from Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan in 1983. She is a Professor of Printmaking Department at the Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka.


b. 1958, Chittagong; lives and works in Dhaka


Safiuddin Ahmed


Safiuddin Ahmed is remembered for the lasting legacy he left on printmaking in Bangladesh. He, along with Zainul Abedin and others, played an important role in the foundation of art institutions in Dacca. Ahmed helped raise the profile of a printmaking, a discipline often considered of secondary importance, by adopting it as his main medium. He inspired many other artists from the subcontinent to begin printmaking. He often travelled to Dumka, India, a place populated by Santhal people, and like many modernists before and after him, he was inspired by their way of life. But after coming to East Pakistan the look, posture and the environment of his works changed and he gradually started to move towards abstraction. He completed a Fine Art Degree (1942) and Tearchership Course (1946) from Government School of Art, Calcutta, India and subsequently travelled to London for advanced training in printmaking, enrolling at the Central School of Arts (now Central St. Martins) in 1956.


b. 1922, Calcutta; d. 2012 in Dhaka



Samarjit Roy Chowdhury


Samarjit Roy Chowdhury is a painter, art educator and graphic designer in Bangladesh. His book illustrations, book covers, poster designs, typography and other elements of graphic design are recognisable for their unique style. He was one of the designers of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh prepared in 1972. He completed a Fine Arts Degree at the Government Institute of Arts, Dacca in 1960 and joined as a teacher in the same year and spent 43 years teaching Graphic Design. He later served as Dean of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts of Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology, Dhaka until 2010.


b. 1937, Comilla; lives and works in Dhaka


Shahid Kabir


Shahid Kabir’s art speaks to the struggles of everyday life; his art narrates the life experience of ordinary as well as subjugated and underprivileged people. His use of colour and texture in his paintings and prints connect to the earth of his motherland. Kabir was inspired by spirituality and Baul philosophy and he attained local fame for works on Lalon Shah Fakir and Baul masters in the 1980s. He left for Spain in 1981 to seek western contemporary art knowledge and came back to Bangladesh after 17 years. Kabir earned a BFA from the East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts in 1969. He taught painting at the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca from 1972 to 1980.


b. 1949, Barisal; lives and works in Dhaka



Shafiqul Ameen


Shafiqul Ameen was an art educator, administrator and painter. He completed a Fine Art Degree in 1938 at the Govt. School of Art, Calcutta, India. He assisted in the primary administrative work of establishing the Art Institute in Dhaka. Ameen joined the Government Institute of Arts in 1955 as a founding teacher in the Oriental Art Department. Zainul Abedin retired from the post of Principal in 1967 and Shafiqul Ameen took up this leadership role. He was an excellent administrator and held the position of Executive Director at the Folk Art Museum, Sonargaon from 1976–1982 which was also founded by Abedin.


b. 1912, Assam; d. 2011 in Dhaka





Shoshibhuson Paul


Shoshibhuson Paul was a well-known artist in colonial East Bengal. It is assumed that he was

the first initiator of a sustainable art community in East Bengal, working to enrich art skills in the region (especially when it came to oil painting techniques). His works brought him respect and fame with the British Raj. His artworks were appreciated by many patrons and were commissioned by colonial officers and the local wealthy community. Shoshibhuson’s greatest achievement was setting up the first art educational institute for the East Bengal region, named Maheshwarpasha School of Art, in 1904. It was later developed and became known as Khulna Art College, and is now merged with Khulna University.


b. 1877, Khulna; d. 1946, Khulna



Sheikh Afzal Hossain


Sheikh Afzal is well known for his representational art-making from the 1980s. He created many portraits of legendary personalities such as Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Rabindranath Tagore, Zainul Abedin and many others. He earned his BFA from the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1981. He completed an MFA at the Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka in 1984 and the University of Tsukuba, Japan in 1993. He is a faculty member in the Department of Drawing and Painting, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka.


b. 1960, Jhinaidah; lives and works in Dhaka


Shishir Bhattacharjee


Shishir Bhattacharjee is a painter whose work stands out for its strong social commitment, sarcasm and wit. He was a founding member of Shomoy, an artists’ group which was significant both in terms of the artists’ understanding of time and their role in the course of Bangladesh’s history. His works project a dystopia where power-hungry people rule. He is considered to be one of the leading satirical cartoonists in the vcountry and continues to publish his political satires on the front cover of the highest nationally circulated newspaper. His socio-political commitment inspires him to create murals on the Shaheed Minar (Martyr Monument) premises every year to commemorate International Mother Language Day and he plays a vital role for organising Mongol Shovajatra on Pohela Boishakh (Bangla New Year). He completed his BFA

at the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dhaka in 1982 and MFA at the M.S. University Baroda, India in 1987. He is a professor and chairs the Drawing & Painting Department, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka.


b. 1960, Thakurgaon; lives and works in Dhaka 


Showkatuzzaman


Showkatuzzaman was known for his watercolour wash techniques and use of tempera, a practice employed by artists practicing ‘oriental art’ in Bangladesh. He was one of the artists who played an important role in developing and inspiring students to pursue oriental art, a genre that was inspired by pan-Asian movements of the 20th Century. Showkatuzzaman earned his BFA from the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1974 and completed his postgraduate studies from Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan, India in 1976 and 1990. Showkat taught at the Chittagong Art College for a few years and joined the Oriental Art Department at the Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka in 1992 and taught there until his death.



b. 1953, Faridpur; d. 2005 in Dhaka


Siddhartha Talukder


Siddhartha Talukder’s area of interest is abstraction. He completed his BFA in Drawing and Painting at the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1981. He continued his studies and earned an MFA in 1985 in the same subject from the Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka. In 1999, he earned his PhD in the History of Art from Kala Bhavana, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, India. Talukder is currently a professor in the Department of Painting, Oriental Art and Printmaking and also holds the position of the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Rajshahi.


b. 1957, Jamalpur; lives and works in Rajshahi


S. M. Sultan


S. M. Sultan was known for his energetic paintings of muscular farmers and their engagement with the landscape of Bangladesh. He began to study at the Government School of Art, Calcutta but left without completing his degree in 1944 to travel to Kashmir, which inspired many of his landscapes. After travelling extensively as a celebrated artist both internationally and within South Asia, Sultan retreated from urban life, moving to his home village of Narail, where he founded the Shishu Shwarga art school. His devotion to rural art education has had a lasting legacy, inspiring many initiatives to promote personal growth outside of urban centres through art.


b. 1923, Narail; d. 1994 in Jessore


Syed Abdullah Khalid


Syed Abdullah Khalid belonged to the first generation of sculptors who practiced sculpture-making as an institutional discipline despite discouragement under the West Pakistani regime. He flourished as a sculptor practicing realism. The Aparajeyo Bangla monument of the liberation war of 1971 at the Dhaka University campus is one of his most well-known creations. Today this sculpture stands as a prominent example of modern sculpture in post-independence Bangladesh. He completed his BFA at the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dacca in 1969 and MFA at the Fine Arts Department, University of Chittagong in 1974. He served as a professor at the same institute until his retirement in 2012.


b. 1942, Sylhet; d. 2017, Dhaka






Tarun Gosh 


Zainul Abedin 


Zubanul Islam


Bangla-e-Bidroho 



Photographer: Randhir Sing and Noor Photoface