Eminent artist Aminul Islam died of old age complications as well prostrate-gland cancer in the city on early morning on Friday. He was 80. A former director of the Institute of Fine Arts (now Faculty of Fine Arts) of Dhaka University, Aminul Islam breathed his last at his Gulshan-2 residence at around 4am.
‘He was then taken to United Hospital at 6am where the on-duty doctors confirmed that he had died around three hours back in his sleep,’ said artist’s son-in-law Shahriar Akhand Sumon.
‘His cancer was diagnosed at Bumrungrad Hospital, Bangkok, in December 2010 in a critical stage. Gradually the cancer spread to his hip bone and back bone,’ said Sumon.
The artist left behind his wife Noor Jahan Islam and three daughters—Ratna Maria, Trishna Islam and Grishna Islam and many well-wishers.
His death body was kept for sometime at the Faculty of Fine Arts before Namaz-e-Janaza.
Members of the Faculty of Fine Arts, representatives of cultural minsitry, Liberation War Museum, Chhayanaut Sanskritik Bhaban, Bengal Foundation, Shilpakala Academy, Sammilita Sanskritik Jote and other organisations paid tributes to the memory of the artists.
Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith and leading artists Quyyum Chowdhury, Rafiqun Nabi, Abu Taher, Samarjit Roy Choudhury, Manirul Islam, AHM Matlub Ali, Abul Barq Alvi, Hamidur Rahman, Farida Zaman, Nisar Hossain, Mohammad Iqbal, Biren Shome, among others, also paid their respect to the deceased artist.
Theatre personality Ramendu Mazumdar, art critic Shamsul Wares, historian Muntasir Mamun, journalist Foyez Ahmed, among others, also went to see the body of the artist.
His Namaz-e Janaza was held at the Central Mosque of Dhaka University after Jumma prayer where Dhaka University Vice Chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique and numerous writers, poets, artists and people from all walks of life participated.
Afterwards, he was buried at Banani graveyard. The Qul Khani for salvation of the departed soul of the artist will be held on Tuesday after Asr payer at his residence at Gulshan.
Aminul Islam was born at Bikrampur, Munshiganj, on November 1931. He was admitted at the newly established Government Institute of Arts at Johnson Road in 1948 and completed his certificate course (equivalent to BFA) in 1953.
After completing higher education in art in Italy for three year, Aminul Islam came back to Bangladesh and joined the Government Institute of Art in 1957 (presently Faculty of Fine Art of Dhaka University).
He was the chairman of the department of drawing and painting and then department of oriental art of the faculty, and also played the role of a director. He retired in 1983.
Aminul Islam was one of the pioneers in introducing modern art in Bangladesh. He had commendable participation in almost all the political movements in the country since early fifties, including the language movement, mass upraising and liberation war.
Artist Aminul Islam received various prestigious awards at home and abroad including highest civilian national award—the Independence Award in 1988, Ekushey Padak in 1981, Grand Imperial Prize in 1966 at Tehran international art biennial, Shilpakala Academy Award in 1976, and many more.
Time and Beyond, Transformation, Musical Performance at Night, In Search of Self-portrait, Victims are some of his masterpiece works.
He participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad.
Some of his solo exhibitions were held at Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, Dhaka in 2001, at Alliance Francaise de Dhaka in 1994, at Pakistan Arts Council in Dhaka in 1968, and at the Society of Contemporary Art Gallaries at Rawalpindi in Pakistan in 1964.
‘Painting, Drawing and Mosaic’, a solo exhibition ofthe works of Aminul Islam was held at Press Club, Dhaka, in 1956.
Besides painting, Aminul Islam was a pioneer in mosaic painting in Bangladesh. His unique mosaic works can be seen at Bangladesh Bank and Osmani Memorial Hall.
He is the author of some books including “Bangladesh-er Shilpa Andoloner Panchash Bachor” published from Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and “Drawings of Aminul Islam” from Bengal Foundation.