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Colouring Traditions

Iffat Nowrin Mallik
Colouring Traditions
Sucker exhibiting in Tokyo 2

Born and brought up near the largest Mangrove forests of the world, renowned artist Firoz Mahmud had a fulfilling childhood in Khulna where he reared himself up as an artist. His ingenuity, sharp and remarkable intellect, unparalleled creative vision, has not only helped him achieve nationwide fame, but also make his mark globally during the span of last ten years. “I have always aspired to create art by adding a different edge to it, in order that I could do justice to my creative insight and have absolute artistic freedom. I prefer expressing my thoughts, opinions, the stories and lives of people around me through my paintings. I strived for perfection even when I was a child; it was inbuilt within me, be it academically or artistically,” reminisces Firoz.  

Lamination 2

Lamentation 2


Mahmud Sucker Aichi Triennale

Sucker Aichi Triennale 27

Apart from painting, Firoz’s artworks also include installations, Japanese woodblock printing, ‘Layapa’ Stencil paintings, and so much more. His paintings are influenced by Japanese woodblock printing and Bangladeshi clay hut rendering technique, colloquially known as `Layapa`. Firoz uses this technique to prepare layouts of his own style and composition for his uneven canvas which he renders with thick coats of oil paint. He experimented with quite a number of non-traditional painiting techniques and chose the ‘Layapa’ technique on his endeavor to invent a painting technique which would be rooted to his heritage, tradition and identity. He draws inspiration from the Bangladeshi village women and their traditional mud rendition on clay floors. He adds, “The canvas is my manuscript where I depict history and emotions, hence most of my canvases are asymmetrically outlined.” Firoz Mahmud’s research sources are widespread, ranging from books, illustrations, old coins & stamps, miniatures to ‘Nakshi Katha’ and ‘Puthi’ manuscripts. He owes his successful career to the unyielding support and admiration he received from his parents.

“My installation project on Aircraft, back in Tokyo was a challenging to me. The sequence of this project was quite as I had to recruit number of aides to assist me on that project. I was quite doubtful of my investment; nevertheless, the appraisal of my work I received post-completion assured me once again on my success.” start of the end of the war

Start of the end of the war


For king and queen


Lamentation, Layapa Art-c

“Art is one of the finest ways to express a person’s inner world. Additionally it helps in developing a sense of honesty. It was creative insight, which first drove man to perceive the beauty around him and manifest that beauty in print. Art not only unravels the beauty around us, but also unveils inexpressible emotions, speaks volumes about contemporary issues which no one would have paid a second thought to otherwise. Art is one of the largest mediums available to help in raising our voices against devastation and corruption - factors which are detrimental to the spirit of meaningful life”. sharing task

Sharing Task 2

•    Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum,
•    Fuchu Art Museum
•    Mori Art Museum (Center Gallery) 
•    The University Art Museum (Geidai)
•    Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art, 
•    Aichi Pref. Museum of Art in Japan 
•    Metropolitan-Gallery Mostings & Byggeriets Hus, Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, 
•    Kunsthaus Tacheles in Berlin, 
•    Royal Overseas League & Asia House, London, 
•    Sovereign Art Foundation, Hong Kong, ShContemporary08, Shanghai Exhibition Center, 
•    Asbestos Art Space, Bandung, Sharjah Museum UAE, 

Awards & Recognitions
•    Osaka Contemporary Art Centera
•    Ozawa Prize, Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art
•    Arts Networks Asia Singapore 
•    Royal Over-seas League, London
•    Dilnasheen Khanom Gold Medal, Dhaka University.  



The story was first published in INTELLECT Issue no.3, dated November 2013.

September 15, 2015
About Author

The author is a freelance journalist. 

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