Thursday marked the 100th birth anniversary of legendary artist Quamrul Hassan, famously known as 'Potua' for his brilliance in folk arts and remembered for redesigning the national flag of Bangladesh.
Different organisations observed the birth centenary of the late eminent artist Quamrul Hassan organising special programmes on Thursday.
A two-day programme was jointly organised by the Graphic Design Department and Graphic Design Department Alumni Association, Dhaka University at its Faculty of Fine Art on Thursday morning. The event comprised several discussions, the inauguration of a digital graphic designing laboratory named after the artist, procession, children's art competition and cultural show.
Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Md Akhtaruzzaman inaugurated the two-day events by placing a floral wreath at the grave of Quamrul Hassan on the DU campus. He also inaugurated the Potua Quamrul Hassan Design Lab at the FFA. The Graphic Design department was one of the first two departments with which the faculty of fine arts began its journey and Quamrul Hassan started this department, and this lab is named after him, which offers modern digital facilities for students.
An exclusive exhibition featuring photographs of Independence Award-winning artist Quamrul Hassan captured by eminent photographer Nasir Ali Mamun was inaugurated at the FFA. Besides, a documentary on Quamrul Hassan was also screened at the event.
The two-day event concluded with a procession in the morning, followed by a discussion session which was joined by thespian and lawmaker Asaduzzaman Noor as the programme chair and Quamrul Hassan's daughter Sumona Hassan as the special guest. DU Faculty of Fine Art Dean Nisar Hossain, Chairman of the Bangla Department at the DU Syed Azizul Huq and art critique Moinuddin Khaled also attended the programme as discussants. The festivity also included a children's art competition, followed by a cultural programme.
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) paid tribute to Quamrul Hassan by placing a floral wreath on his grave on the Dhaka University campus at 11 am on Thursday. Besides, the academy also placed a floral wreath at the artist's portrait in front of the National Art Gallery.
Born on December 2, 1921, in Kolkata - Quamrul Hassan graduated in fine arts from the Government Institute of Arts (now College of Arts and Crafts, Kolkata) in 1947.
He came to Dhaka after the partition of India in 1947 and then helped 'Shilpacharjo' Zainul Abedin to establish the Dacca Art College, now known as the Faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University. He served there as a teacher from 1948 till 1960.
Through his portrayal of traditional aspects that he represented on his canvases using elements from the folk genre, Quamrul Hassan had contributed immensely to the country's art scene.
Quamrul Hassan actively participated in all major national movements including the non-cooperation movement in 1969 and the Liberation War in 1971. During the war, he first served as the chairman of the Resistance Committee in the Hatirpul area in the capital and later served as the Director of the Art Division of the Information and Radio Department of the Bangladesh Government in exile from Kolkata.
His caricatures portraying the ferocious gesture of Pakistani military dictator Yahya Khan titled 'Ei Janowarder Hottya Korte Hobe' (Annihilate These Demons) is considered as a classic artwork and cartoon that inspired the freedom fighters during the War of Liberation.
Often utilized 'cubism' (an early-20th-century avant-garde art movement that revolutionized European painting and sculpture) in his creations, Hassan practically worked with all mediums including oil, gouache, watercolour, pastel, etching, woodcut, linocut, pen and pencil.
He received several prestigious awards and honours including President's Gold Medal, Independence Award, Bangladesh Charu Shilpi Sangsad Honour and others for his magnificent contributions in the Bangladeshi art sphere.
Apart from shaping the national flag in its current form, Quamrul Hassan also designed several other national logos including the state monogram of Bangladesh, Freedom Fighters Welfare Trust, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, Bangladesh Bank, and Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
Suffering one of the tragic and historic death, Quamrul Hassan passed away through suffering a heart attack right after completing a sketch satirising the then autocratic ruler, President Hussain Muhammad Ershad, titled 'Desh Aj Bissho-Beheyar Khoppre' (Our land is now in the hand of the champion of shamelessness) at the 2nd National Poetry Festival in Dhaka University on February 02, 1988.
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