Artist Aminul Islam (1931-2011) is amongst the first generation artists and a leading member of the pioneering modern art movement in Bangladesh. To preserve his memory, his family introduced the Aminul Islam Young Artists Award in 2013. Two young artists are selected biennially for their contributions to the arts and honoured with the Aminul Islam Young Artists Award worth BDT 1,00,000 each. Bengal Foundation administers and oversees the award-giving ceremony.
Recently at Bengal Shilpalay, two young artists Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury and Zihan Karim received the Aminul Islam Young Artists Award 2018 at a programme. An Honourable Mention Award was given to Sarkar Protik as well.
Art writer and critic Professor Nazrul Islam, Shishir Bhattacharjee, Chairperson of the Department of Drawing and Painting, Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka, Ruby Islam, wife of artist Aminul Islam, and Abul Khair, Chairman of Bengal Foundation, were present at the ceremony and handed over the awards to the winners. Luva Nahid Choudhury, Director General, Bengal Foundation, hosted the programme.
The winners of the award were shortlisted and selected by an independent jury. For the award of 2018, the application deadline was December 20, 2018 and after the preliminary selection, ten shortlisted candidates were selected from the applicants. The names of the artists are: M A Raihan, Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury, Munem Wasif, Palash Bhattacharjee, Reetu Sattar, Sarker Protick, Sharad Das, Soma Surovi Jannat, Shounak Das and Zihan Karim.
Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury has an interdisciplinary artistic practice that includes installation, video, collage, sculpture, performance and photography. He completed his BFA and MFA from the University of Dhaka. His group exhibitions include Dhaka Art Summit 2018, Entangled Reality 2018 in Vienna, Tasher Desh 2017 in Dhaka and Self Identity 2016 in Dhaka. Mizanur won the Samdani Art Award at Dhaka Art Summit (DAS) 2018.
On the other hand, Zihan Karim has been working in various mediums for a long time, especially in installation and video art. He completed his BFA and MFA from Institute of Fine Arts, Chittagong University, where he is currently working as a lecturer. Zihan won the Honourable Mention Award at the 15th Asian Art Biennale in 2012.