Remembering a progressive artist
Nitun Kundu\'s 13th death anniversary observed
Nitun Kundu's 13th death anniversary observed
Noted artist Nitun Kundu's thirteenth death anniversary was observed on September 15. He was a widely respected cultural figure, entrepreneur and hero of the Liberation War, and for his artistic contributions, received a state funeral that was attended by a cross-section of civil society and government.
Kundu graduated from Dacca Art College (at present the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka) in 1959. Apart from being a sculptor, he was also a painter and was recognised for both his abstract and realistic works. Before his demise, he had plans to hold a solo painting exhibition.
During the Liberation War, some of his poster colour based works gave him recognition in our art scenario. He was also known for furniture design. Wood and metal both were main ingredients in his works.
During the Liberation War, Kundu worked with veteran painter Quamrul Hassan for the public relations department of the then Bangladesh Government at Mujibnagar. Posters by him including "Shoda Jagrato Banglar Muktibahini", "Amra Shobai Bangali" and "Banglar Bir Muktijoddha" are well known. These figurative works highlight a nation's struggles to earn freedom. Long faces and large eyes are two noticeable traits of the works.
Professor Anisuzzaman once said, "Nitun Kundu was a remarkable man of our times. He came from Dinajpur without knowing anyone. He got admitted in the Institute of Fine Arts, overcoming all difficulties by sheer determination. He was able to establish himself as one of the successful entrepreneurs in our country. As an artist he made figurative works in the beginning and he later switched over to abstraction. He tried his hands in sculpture and some of his works have been greatly admired. He was a genuine patriot and an exceptional friend."
Among his sculptures, "Shabash Bangladesh" is much acclaimed. Cement, clay and bamboo are the main elements of the work. The SAARC Fountain, known for its molecular shape and 21st century aesthetics, is also famous. With the design, Kundu wanted to present a complex structure in a simple atmosphere. His metal-based works have an air of modernism and the designs have enriched the Bangladeshi contemporary art scenario.
Among Kundu's contemporaries, Debdas Chakraborty, Samarjit Roy Chowdhury, Biren Shome and noted art critic and journalist Sadeq Khan were his close friends.
Kundu was the founder of Otobi and received several awards throughout his illustrious career, including Ekushey Padak, National Film Award, Notun Kuri Award, President Gold Cup and The Daily Star-DHL Best Entrepreneur Award.
The writer is a freelance contributor.