Monday, July 22, 2019 | ePaper

SM Sultan - The Cosmic Journey of a Fugitive

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Sheikh Arif Bulbon :
Over the span of a decade, Nasir Ali Mamun recorded the one-man journey of the ‘fugitive’ and bohemian painter SM Sultan - his pathos, darkness and struggle as he went about recreating on giant canvasses the essence of human spirit.
Mamun’s camera chronicled Sultan’s closeness to the common people and how he spoke for the people who had toiled through ages for the advancement of human civilisation. A recluse in love with nature, Sultan’s canvasses as well as surroundings inhered animals, birds and plants that he greatly cared for.
Through these photographs Mamun tried to immortalise that inner spirit of Sultan who adroitly shunned publicity and lived hermetically at his native village in Narail, revealing many hidden and obscure faces of the master painter’s cosmic journey.
Nasir Ali Mamun spent ten years in pursuit of the elusive artist and recorded in his frame, the contemplative emotion of the artist, as he went about recreating on giant canvases the essence of the human spirit and its emancipation.
As the celebrated founder of portrait photography in Bangladesh, Nasir Ali Mamun is best known for his extraordinary and soul-searing portraits of celebrities from a diverse background, including arts and politics. Working exclusively in black and white, his body of work from 1972 onwards has been described as ‘capturing rare moments of rarer human beings in a spirit of discovery, providing a facial history of creative souls.’
The fifty-eight solo photography exhibition by Nasir Ali Mamun titled ‘SM Sultan- The Cosmic Journey of a Fugitive’ is being held at La Galerie, Alliance Française de Dhaka (AFD) in the city's Dhanmondi area.
A book launch with the same title  by Nasir Ali Mamun was also unveiled during the inaugural ceremony of the exhibition.
Dedicated to Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, the exhibition titled ‘SM Sultan - The Cosmic Journey of a Fugitive’ is showcasing these historic and iconic photographs.
 Asaduzzaman Noor, Minister of Cultural Affairs, graced the occasion as the chief guest while Marie Annick Bourdin, Ambassador of France to Bangladesh, Mario Plama, Ambassador of Italy to Bangladesh, eminent artist Monirul Islam and architect and artist Mustapha Khalid Palash, Prof Moinuddin Khaled and Director of AFD Olivier Dintinger also attended the event.
The photography book titled ‘SM Sultan- The Cosmic Journey of a Fugitive’ is sponsored by Delvistaa Foundation.
The exhibition will continue till October 5. n

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