Today marks the 69th birthday of internationally-famous Bangladeshi artist Shahabuddin Ahmed. The freedom fighter's bold brush famously depicts the Liberation War of Bangladesh. Shahabuddin's paintings delve into contemporary life and times. His optimism is expressed in his paintings. Bold strokes, vibrant colour and an animated figurative expression are the hallmarks of his work. Bangabandhu, peace, conscience and the indomitable spirit of the war frequently appear as prominent connotations on his canvas.
A national committee together with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) has arranged a programme today at 5pm at the National Theatre Hall of BSA to celebrate his birthday. Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury will grace the occasion as chief guest while National Professor Anisuzzaman will preside over the programme.
The event will feature birthday felicitations, discussion, distribution of awards and certificates among children who participated in an art competition. The event will also include exhibitions showcasing Shahabuddin's portraits drawn by 12 artists and his photographs snapped by several photographers
“I am overwhelmed with receiving so many peoples' unconditional love,” says Shahabuddin. “I had many expectations in life. I fought for the country and still fighting through art. Many of my dreams and expectations have found the rays of success abroad and not in my homeland.” He strongly believes in the freedom of an artist.
“The people's free movement, practice of free conscience, art and words that we experienced in 1972 and 1973, are now asleep in my country,” he says. “I still feel Bangabandhu is urging me with his bold, inspiring words, for which I find vigour within. The authority who handed over Bangabandhu satellite to Bangladesh, invited me at the opening ceremony where I exhibited my artworks, which was a proud moment for me.”
Furthermore, for him, Bangladeshi art has progressed a lot thanks to the unparallel practice and commitment by young artists. “The journey of an artist witnesses interactions with problems and prospects. Being satisfied with receiving too many accolades spoils an artist,” he says. “As an artist and human being, I got support and respect from all corners, which I don't think would have happened if I were not a freedom fighter.”