Four paintings of the Independence Award-winning internationally-acclaimed Bangladeshi painter and freedom fighter Shahabuddin Ahmed have been auctioned and sold on the international auction platform, in association with renowned art agency ARTcon.

The four lithography paintings - 'Run', 'Horse', 'Freedom' and 'Horses', were auctioned on the Sowda website on August 18 and all the paintings were sold at the auction on October 11. Bidding the base price of Tk 1,50,000 for each of the four paintings following the auction rules, Obhai Solutions Limited has become the proud collector of the four artworks, painted by the legendary artist Shahabuddin Ahmed.

The first of its kind international auction in Bangladesh, the month-long auction has received an overwhelming response from the top intellectuals, artists and art collectors in the country.

The online auctions were inaugurated at a virtual press conference on August 25, and Shahabuddin Ahmed, who joined from France, lauded this exclusive initiative. In his opening remarks, the acclaimed artist said, "I never imagined my artworks would be auctioned one day, however, the notion and meaning of auction have evolved significantly over time. We have to show the dignity of Bangladesh to the world through such auctions, and my gratitude to Sowda and ARTcon for being the much-needed global platform for this initiative. I believe this kind of auction will certainly play an important role in highlighting the art and history of Bangladesh to the international art community."

On the occasion, renowned art critic Moinuddin Khaled discussed the artworks of painter Shahabuddin Ahmed. He said, "Paris-based eminent Bangladeshi artist Shahabuddin Ahmed has his own uniqueness, which is vibrantly present in his paintings. Usage of metaphorical language has been one of the most distinctive aspects of Shahabuddin Ahmed's work. The uniqueness regarding the space composition of Shahabuddin is something that cannot be found in any other artworks of Bangladesh. To properly understand the amazing paintings containing all these uniqueness of the great artist Shahabuddin Ahmed, one has to understand the ethnic history of the Bengali people and then one can understand why it is different from the European artworks and why his paintings are really invaluable."

Explaining Shahabuddin Ahmed, popular actor and painter Afzal Hossain said, "The best thing about artist Shahabuddin Ahmed is that he proved his worth through his own style of works and uniqueness. His confidence, passion and dignity towards his crafts has cemented his legacy as the legendary painter of Bangladesh."

Zakaria Swapan, CEO of renowned e-commerce platform and founder of its sister concern, expressed his excitement about this unique venture. "This is the first time in Bangladesh that online auctions have been launched, and being an international platform where anyone in the world can bid and buy products, we believe it has opened a new horizon. It's a remarkable matter of joy for us that we started this unique initiative with the world-renowned legendary artist Shahabuddin Ahmed's paintings, and Obhai Solutions Limited has become the proud collector of these amazing artworks."

"Our biggest intention behind this initiative of the auction is that, we are going to make art-admirers interested and create a much-needed online marketplace for artworks, which will help and motivate the creative artists in our country. We are very thankful to ARTcon for partnering with us in this venture through building the bridge between the artists and us, and we hope to be able to put some of the best works of art up for auction soon, which will create further interest in the global art community," Swapan told Dhaka Courier.

Art Curation Agency ARTcon has collaborated with Sowda for this exclusive auction and contacted Shahabuddin Ahmed. Describing the initiative, ARTcon founder ARK Reepon told Dhaka Courier that this unique auction is the beginning of a well-organized journey that will not only help the talented artists but also glorify Bangladesh's name in the global art marketplace.

"ARTcon has been working on building the bridge between the artists and art admirers and collectors since 2015, and through this auction, we believe we have successfully initiated a trend of virtually selling artworks of various artists for the first time in Bangladesh. We are happy and proud that through this auction, the much-needed marketplace has been prepared for such kind of future auctions as well," Reepon told DC.

"You see," Reepon said further explaining the necessity of such auctions to DC, "Artworks, although being invaluable and priceless, can also be defined as investments. The appeal of paintings and antiques never decrease because of the aesthetic value, and also we have observed that there is a huge demand for these types of unique artworks among the global art collectors, who understand the real value of the crafts beyond the monetary value. ARTcon has established trust between the artists and collectors, as it evaluates the artworks with its cutting edge technology to avoid any kind of scam for both the artists and bidders. We certainly believe, this auction is the beginning of a beautiful tomorrow, and It will enable us to present real and unique works by some of the country's most famous artists on the virtual platform."

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