Syful Islam, a painter by birth, was born in August 12, 1943 in Meherpur, Kushtia. His father Nimuddin Biswas was a Government service holder and his mother a simple housewife. In 1977 he wedded Shahnaz Pervin who comes from a Non-Bengali origin. They have been blessed with one son and two daughters. His family is the main source of his inspiration.
He appeared for his SSC in 1962 and got enrolled in Kushtia Govt College the next year. His artistic flare was identified by his college mates and was referred to as the 'artist' since then. He completed his M.Com from Rajshahi University but did not pursue his MS. When asked why, his reply was, "Formal education never impressed me."
He came in contact with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the occasion of sketching him in 1975. Bangabandhu, recognizing this God gifted talent, helped him get a scholarship to Surikov Institute of Moscow in the same year. He returned after a year only being homesick.
Islam has dedicated his life to creating art. He works everyday on an average of 5 to 7 hours. His work includes landscape, portrait, calligraphy, still life composition, modern composition and ink sketches. According to him, "Landscapes are natural beauties. When I do them I try my best to copy the natural beauty just the way God has created it. I am a painter because I love God's creations. Green fields, our rivers, our sky, clouds before rain and sun glowing over the green stretches, all mesmerize me". Portraits, his favourite, require much skill and dexterity as all art critics and lovers, simultaneuously, would agree. His calligraphy is also worth mentioning and Islam is also the pioneer of Islamic Calligraphy in Bangladesh. Along with Islamic Calligraphy he also introduced Bengali calligraphy in the 90s, a new dimension of art in Bangladesh. On still life composition he went on saying, "Still life paintings are objects with no moving power like flowers, chairs, pots etc. A good painter's job is to make them lively and attractive". His efficiency also in the line of ink sketches can in no way be ignored.
He follows the footsteps of remarkable painters like Rapin, Rembrandt, Siskin and Boroviokovsky. He also mentioned his fondness for classical paintings of the Renaissance, Russian and Chinese revolutions.
Syful Islam started an art gallery in 1982 which he named after his son Cezanne, at U.A.E Moitree Complex, Banani.
Syful Islam thinks that teaching is the best way to improve one's artistic talents and so in 1981 he started his one man art school named Cezanne Art School at Banani where he has had the opportunity to teach foreign students also.
Some of his special works include Portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Queen Elizabeteth the 2nd, Indira Gandhi, King and Queen of Malaysia, Ameer of Kuwait et al and he even has a bi-lingual world class book named "Great Lives, Great Acts". The book includes 60 great man's portraits with their biographies. Among the portraits are Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Zia Ur Rahman, Titumir, Surja Sen, Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Begum Rokeya, Lalon Sai, Hason Raja are noteable.
Syful Islam received Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's special fellowship for fine art in Surikov institute Moscow 1975. He was invited by the Malaysian Ambassador as a friendly gesture, appreciating his art to visit Kuala Lumpur in 1974. He also went to display his Islamic Calligraphy in Tehran Quran Exhibition in 2004. He has been awarded the best calligraphy painter award from Bangladesh Jatiyo Shahitta Kendra. Among many local and foreign students his most remarkable art student as recalled by him is our current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He loves to listen to all kinds of music specially Hemonto Mukkhopaddhay, Bhupen Hazarika and Lalon. It was an honour to meet such a talented yet simple, friendly and always smiling Syful Islam.