Legendary artist SM Sultan’s 23rd anniversary of death was observed at his birthplace Narail on Tuesday.
Narail district administration and SM Sultan Foundation jointly arranged elaborate programmes featuring special prayers, paying homage at the grave of the artist, discussion on his life and works and a children’s art competition followed by a prize giving ceremony.
Over a hundred children participated in the art competition.
The discussion was held at Shishuswarga Auditorium. Narail deputy commissioner and also president of SM Sultan Foundation Imdadul Haque Chowdhury, SM Sultan Bengal Art College principal Professor Ashok Kumar Shil, Narail Press Club president M Alamgir Siddiqui, among others, spoke at the discussion.
SM Sultan was born on August 10, 1923 at Masumdia village in Narail. He was the son of Sheikh Mohammed Mecher Ali and Meherunnesa. After five years of primary education at Victoria Collegiate School in Narail, he went to work for his father who was a mason. Sultan wanted to study arts in Kolkata but his family did not have the means to send him there.
Eventually, he secured financial support from the local zamindar and went to Kolkata in 1938. He got admission at Government School of Art but because of his bohemian nature, he could not complete his studies and started his career as a freelance artist.
His is famous for, among other things, his striking depiction of muscular Bangladeshi peasants engaged in the activities of their everyday lives.
For his contribution to the art, Sultan won Ekushey Padak in 1982. Cambridge University declared him as the Man of Asia in 1984. He was made an ‘artist-in-residence’ by the Bangladesh government in the same year. Besides, he won many other prestigious awards, including Bangladesh Charu Shilpi Sangsad Award in 1986 and Swadhinata Padak in 1993.
His works were exhibited at prestigious venues across the world, including IEE in New York, YMCA in Washington, University of Chicago, Michigan University and Victoria Embankment Gardens in London.
SM Sultan died in Jessore Combined Military Hospital on October 10, 1994.
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