Veteran artist Syed Jahangir, who helped found the Department of Fine Arts at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, has died at the age of 83.
The painter passed away at his residence in Dhaka’s Mohammadpur area at around 11:00am on Saturday, said former Department of Fine Arts director Md Moniruzzaman.
The Ekushey Padak winner had helped popularise mobile fine art exhibitions at the district and upazila levels.
Jahangir was born in Satkhira in 1935. He was involved in fine arts since the 1950s.
In 1958 he received a Ford Foundation Fellowship and travelled to the US, where he became familiar with various American artists.
In the West Pakistan era, Jahangir worked as a television news presenter. He was stuck in Pakistan when the Liberation War broke out and was removed from television.
He returned to Bangladesh in 1973. Slowly his paintings took more realistic forms from abstraction. The colours of rural Bangladesh began to highlight his paintings.
He began working at Shilpakala in 1977 and served as Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy director for 16 years. He took on various initiatives to advance the fine arts in Bangladesh. It was under his tenure that the state-sponsored academy launched the fine arts department.
He had a notable contribution in the beginning of Asian Art Biennale of Bangladesh.
The inspiration of Jahangir's paintings was an in-depth observation of rural Bangladesh, its people and the economic hardship they endure. He was popular for paintings such as ‘Attmar Ujjibon’, ‘Ullas’, ‘Dhoni’ and ‘Ojana-Oneshya’. ‘Osoni-Sangket’, one of his paintings, was based on the socio-political issues of Bangladesh.
He won the Ekushey Padak, the second highest civilian award of Bangladesh, in 1985.
Bangladesh Charushilpi Sangsad presented him with a special honour in 1992.
He also received the Michael Madhusudan Academy Award, Shashi Bhushan honurable Award, Berger Paints Award, Hamidur Rahman Memorial Award and many others for his arts.
His body will be taken to the Fine Arts Department of Dhaka University at around 3:00pm on Saturday so people can pay their final respects, reports bdnews24.
The funeral prayers will be held after the Asr prayer at the Dhaka University central mosque.
Jahangir will be buried at his hometown in Satkhira.
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