The 103rd birth anniversary of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin will be celebrated today.
Zainul played a pioneering role in the modern art movement in Bangladesh that began with the setting up of the Government Institute of Arts and Crafts (now faculty of fine arts) in 1948 in Dhaka of which he was the founding principal.
Faculty of fine arts of Dhaka University will celebrate the occasion through a daylong Zainul Mela on its premises.
The fair showcasing artworks by students and teachers of FFA, cultural show, documentary screening and others will commence at Bakultala of FFA in the morning.
Born on December 29, 1914 in Kishoreganj of the then British India, Zainul Abedin grew passionate about arts in his early teens.
He enrolled at Kolkata Government Art School in 1932 and completed with distinction. He, in fact, was the first Muslim student to stand first in the first class. Zainul joined the art school as a lecturer even before completing his final year.
The master artist came to limelight and earned wide recognition for his sketches of Bengal famine in 1943. These famine sketches, done in black ink on cheap brown paper, are still regarded as a testament to the starving and dying masses on the streets of Kolkata.
The artist left Kolkata just after the partition in 1947 and settled in Dhaka. Zainul pioneered the establishment of Dhaka Art Institute in 1948 and became the principal of the institute at the beginning of 1949. The institute, now the faculty of fine arts of Dhaka University, became the hub of fine arts practices in the then East Pakistan.
In 1970, Zainul painted a 65 feet narrative scroll titled ‘Nobanna’ depicting the rural Bengal and another 29 feet scroll titled ‘Monpura’ depicting the effect of the devastating cyclone that hit the coastal areas of the country.
In 1971, Zainul formed Charu O Karu Shilpi Sangram Parishad and also gave up Hilal-e-Imtiaz. In 1973, Zainul received an honorary DLitt from Delhi University. He was declared national professor in 1975.
He founded the Folk Art Museum at Sonargaon in Narayanganj and Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala in 1975.
He died on May 28, 1976.
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