Death is the harsh reality of life one cannot evade. Eminent sculptor Syed Abdullah Khalid, best known for the iconic Aparajeyo Bangla, passed away at around 11:30pm on May 20 at the ICU of BIRDEM hospital.
The sculptor has been suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), chronic lung infection and diabetes for a long while, according to his younger brother Dr. Syed Ahmed Mortada.
His body was taken to Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka (DU), at the base of 'Aparajeyo Bangla' and later, following his namaj-e-janaza held at the Central Mosque premises of DU, he was laid to eternal rest yesterday at Martyred Intellectuals' Graveyard in Mirpur. A dua mahfil on him will take place at Central Mosque of DU after As'r prayer on May 26.
“Syed Abdullah Khalid was dynamic artist. He was aggressive towards his works. His 'Aparajeyo Bangla' carries a symbolic value and sentiment. It will remain a great evidence of our glorious history Liberation War. A sculptor deals with hard material; he too did so, but at the same time he was painter who portrayed the soft and innocent aspects of nature. He beautifully merged the contrasting hard and soft aspects of art practice throughout his life. He never tolerated any injustice and protested aggressively, though he became like a child and reticent at the latter age,” said eminent artist Monirul Islam.
“I entirely agree with the demand of Syed Abdullah Khalid's wife regarding inscribing of Syed Abdullah Khalid's Name at the base of Aparajeyo Bangla as she demanded it yesterday morning,” added Monirul Islam.
“Aparajeyo Bangla is one of the best sculptures regarding its compositional beauty. Khalid did the realistic work so proportionately. The freedom fighters' maverick character, resolute morale and indomitable courage have attributed a unique feature of the work. I am fortunate that I was involved with the work,” said eminent architect and art critic Rabiul Hussain.
“As a painter, he was a naturalist. He beautifully depicted paintings of flowers. After Liberation War, he started sculptures. We find his sculptures at Army and Navy headquarters and at many pharmaceutical industries. His Aparajeyo Bangla is the best and an earliest sculpture of post-independent Bangladesh. The forthcoming generations will be inspired by its value and spirit,” said renowned architect Shamsul Wares.
Syed Abdullah Khalid is considered one of the pioneer sculptors of Bangladesh. A versatile artist, Khalid has not only excelled in sculpture but also made a great impression with his vibrant paintings.