Three things -- the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the glorious Liberation War of 1971 and the world of art -- play significant roles in the conscience and lifestyle of internationally-famous Bangladeshi artist Shahabuddin Ahmed. He is the lone Freedom Fighter to have portrayed and exhibited paintings in the war camp in 1971. His canvas is full of motion and movement, vigour and liveliness while his bold brush depicts the epic of our glorious Liberation War in a magnanimous way.
The artist's month-long solo painting exhibition, titled “Peace”, is now underway at the National Art Gallery of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the exhibition as chief guest on March 19. BSA and Ganges Art Gallery, Kolkata (India) in association with the Bangladesh Ministry of Cultural Affairs have organised the exhibition that features over 30 recent oil works by the maestro.
Apart from Shahabuddin's famous series -- “Freedom”, “Platoon”, “Le Victoire”, “Arreter Le Genocide” and more, the exhibition showcases the portraits of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi, who the artist regards as the harbingers of peace.
The artist is deeply motivated by the magical motion and movement of the artworks by his Guru, Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin. He regards world masters Goya, Rembrandt, Eugène Delacroix, Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci as his family. “A gharana plays an important role for an artist. Without it, no one can become an artist,” mentioned the art maestro.
The memories of nostalgic childhood revolving around the idyllic ambience of Bangladesh have a great influence on Shahabuddin Ahmed. The indomitable spirit, anger, the beautiful pain and his masculinity always instigated him to create something bold and visionary. The serene landscapes of Bangladesh together with the presence of feminine grace are two important aspects of the exhibition. Shahabuddin, as a true artist, serenades the songs of humanity. He intentionally inserts the strength of our femininity into his canvas.
“Venerating the success and vigour of our womanhood, I have tried to express my feelings towards them in my own way. The sacrifice of the Birangonas is immense. I depicted them in my canvas as I look upon them as the heroines of my conscience,” explained the artist.
“Peace” is open for all from 11am to 8pm weekdays and from 3pm to 8pm on Fridays.