The 33rd anniversary of the death of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin will be observed today.
Several socio-cultural organisations have chalked up various programmes, including discussions and drawing competitions for children, to mark the occasion. Zainul Shishu Niketan and Desh TV will hold an art camp for children at the fine arts faculty in Dhaka University today.
The programme, Desh Shishu Kishore Art Camp, will begin at 2:00pm and it will continue till 6:00pm. About 500 children have been selected for the competition, said the organisers. Actor Assudzzaman Nur, artist Hashem Khan, Shishir Bhattacharya will attend the camp as guests.
Zainul Abedin was born on December 29, 1914 in Kishoreganj. His father, Tamijuddin Ahmed, was a police subinspector. In 1930, Abedin left home without informing his parents and went to Kolkata with his friends to visit the Government School of Arts.
He got himself admitted at the school in 1936 before completing his matriculation. He stayed there in one of his relation’s housel, but after some days, he left the house and spent two nights in a mosque. Later, he managed a place in a boarding house on Wellesley Lane in Kolkata.
As a student of the Government School of Arts, he studied the western academic style of drawing, watercolour, oil and printmaking. Then he drew the picturesque views of Dumka in Bihar and Mymensingh of the then East Bengal, now Bangladesh.
Zainul was recruited as a teacher when he was a student of the final year of the school in 1938. He received the governor’s gold medal for his landscapes in the All India Art Exhibition held on the school premises in the year. His drawings on the Bengal famine, in 1943, were displayed, first, in an exhibition on famine in Kolkata in 1944. The Communist Part of India organised the exhibition.
He took part in the art exhibition by Muslim students at the Islamia College in Kolkata in 1946. He also attended the exhibition of Indian artists at Burlington in London. After the India’s partition in 1947, he migrated to Dhaka and joined as an art teacher the Normal School at Armanitola in Dhaka. He worked for the establishment of the Government Institute of Arts and became its ‘principal designated’ in 1948.
After the India’s partition in 1947, he migrated to Dhaka and joined as an art teacher the Normal School at Armanitola in Dhaka. He worked for the establishment of the Government Institute of Arts and became its ‘principal designated’ in 1948. Most of the pieces of the famine series are kept in the Bangladesh National Museum at Shahbagh and other works of Zainul are on display at the Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala in Mymensingh.
Zainul was involved in all stages of the movement that led to the creation of Bangladesh. He was in the forefront of the cultural movement to re-establish the Bengali identity, marginalised by the Pakistan government. In 1969, Abedin painted a scroll using Chinese ink, watercolour and wax named Nabanna. In 1975, he founded the Folk Art Museum at Sonargaon, near Dhaka, and Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala, a gallery of his own works, in Mymensingh. ‘Two Faces’ was his last painting, done shortly before his death.
Abedin had suffered from lung cancer and died on May 28, 1976 at the PG Hospital (now BSMMU) in Dhaka.