Mahbubur Rahman


The Bangladeshi artist Mahbubur Rahman (b. 1969) has been instrumental in the development of contemporary art in Bangladesh both through his personal experimental practice, his activism, and also his work developing the Britto Arts Trust, which he co-founded with his wife Tayeba Begum Lipi in 2002. Rahman’s paintings and performances have been widely exhibited in solo and group shows in Bangladesh and internationally in several renowned institutions including the Bangladesh Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale and the 14th Asian Art Biennale. In many of his performance works, the body plays a key role in the artist’s journey for knowledge. In his powerful and ongoing performance Transformation, Rahman wears a faceless hood with attached buffalo horns, and walks around the streets of Dhaka. The performance refers to local lore of the farmer Nuruldunner Sarajiban, whose resistance to British colonial forces ruined him and resulted in having to pull his own plough in the place of buffalo, crippling him to a point where he is left powerless and braying like a cow. The Triangle Arts Trust has remarked, “Rahman's perfor- mance plays with a sense of impotence, contrasting the symbolic value of the horns with his blind and helpless wanderings.” Rahman is interested in how norms in society are created, and what forces cause certain acts to be forbidden. Rahman opines, “The norms in the diverse culture of societies are usually created according to the local atmosphere, weather and time. Many illogical norms coexist bringing about conflict and compelling us to decide how we ought to act. The larger part of the community chooses the social norms.”

Total Artworks - 1

Genre - Fantasy | Color Play | Abstract | B/W

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Artwork Size: 55 X 32 inch (hxw)

Sculby Mahubur Rahman