Sunday, 22 April 2012

'To Whom The Sun Shines' - Mostafa Aziz

[Dedicated to talented artists Prof. Dr. Khondkar Manzare Shamim, Asma Sultana and Ria Dasgupta]

My Tribute to Talented Mostafa Aziz (Bengali: মোস্তফা আজিজ) - The Famous Sketch Artist of Bangladesh.
(1923 April 1 - 1995 March 3)

Mostafa Aziz, an amazing selfless sketch artist and a visionary teacher - the second son of the eminent poet Golam Mostafa, Monohorpur, Shailkupa, Jhenidah, Bangladesh, touched many people in a very profound way. Still his artistic passion, vision and inspiration outreach us and pave the way to face the future and crisis of our civilization. He sketched the reflections of our social injustice and so called celebration of our life and time. Mustafa Aziz's visionary art work still stimulates us how an artist can fight for right, and unveil the inconvenient truth of our time with his empowering pencil in a very meaningful way as we strive for a better tomorrow.

We all have pen and pencils in our possession, as we are so called educated! What do we do with them? You can expect a lot of trouble if you want to use them to tell the truth and fight for right in our beautiful Bangladesh. You will embrace fierce resistance specially when you are on a visionary mission to sketch our social injustice and inequality, that portrays a bleak picture of our future. Shortsighted religious relatives and political motives will kill your creativity. Facial sketches are forbidden by some religions! Sketch of famine is too graphic and embarrassing in our global social fabric! Despite fear of life, with vivid vision, Mustafa Aziz was always on the move to make a difference.

He had to suffer immensely for his prolific sketch 'To Whom The Sun Shines ('এর উপরও সূর্য কিরণ দেয়') to portray the face of the man-made famine of 1974 in Bangladesh!' Eventually, he fought for his right and responsibility as an artist to sketch the  truth of the time and won against the regime with compensation. It is a great honour for me to receive a sketch-artwork as a personal gift from that passionate personality. He was always on the move with his bag full of surprises: pencils, crayons, art-book, a small folding chair, chess-set and lightweight snacks (rice crisp (মুড়ি), Bombay mix (চানাচুর, ঝুড়িভাজা), nuts (বাদাম), dry sweets (কটকটি, সন্দেশ, কদমা, দানাদার) and chocolates. His sketches, predominantly facial portrait and expressions, gradually became vivid in the shades of two distinct colours - black or brown crayons/pencils!

His passion for sports reflected in this sketches immensely. He sketched many passionate players from a wide variety of fields including the famous soccer player Salahuddin. He taught me many winning strategic moves while we played chess whenever we met at our home, 'Roudra-Chhaya' on Kobi Golam Mostafa Sorrak, the road was named after his father. We spent a lot of quality time together. He used to sketch intertwined famous and notorious people of our time. On many occasions I was amazed to see how passionately he dedicated his time to sketch famous and notorious people of our time. He showed us his art portfolio many times as they were expanding by leaps and bounds. Each sketch carried a unique uplifting or humiliating story of our time.

His farsighted journey of meeting the truth was often disrupted by a number of shortsighted people, who thought that he was a mad person as he spent hours for sketching street beggars, mentally disturbed people including a very popular beggar, fonyo, in Shailkupa bazaar. He used to stay with us for his safety rather than staying at his own home at Monohorpur, not far from our home at Kobi Golam Mostafa Sorrak, Kabirpur, Shailkupa, Jhenidah.

Once Mostafa Aziz sketched my portrait when I was at a teenager. After that I asked him, 'Where would I end? Will I be famous or notorious?' He asked me to extend my right hand. Then he examined the lines on my hands with his magnifying glass to predict my future. After a meticulous study it was the time of deliberation. He predicted that I would travel a long way to make a significant difference! He also predicted my meritorious friend that he would walk in the opposite direction of life! Exactly that happened to us.

Mostafa Aziz passed away on March 03, 1995 when I was pursuing my doctoral research in England. But still his legacy creates ripples within me and round the world as we weave our global social fabric together.

It is my great pleasure to share these pictures and memento with you from my personal photo album. I have had a very mixed feelings today, to find out that hardly any information exited on our digital media about this amazing progressive sketch-artist of our time. Hopefully someday an artist will research Mostafa Aziz's profound artistic vision with empathy,  and spare sometime to archive his visionary sketches into our digital media with artistic touch. This is our moral responsibility to preserve our heritage from a man who relentlessly inspired us to fight for right and dare to dream! Our quest for uplifting humanity continues....

Mostafa Aziz's unfulfilled dreams still drive us to be free from fear in future that we treasure today!
Miss you Mustafa Aziz.

Pencil Sketch Art :: Mostafa Aziz

Facebook Archive Link:

Stay tuned.... More to come....
♫ ♪ '__̴ı̴̴̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡*̡̡ ̴̡ı̴̴̡ ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ ̡ ̴̡ı̴̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡̡._' ♫ ♪ 
Shafiul Islam
Cambridge, Canada
2012 April 22

P.S.: Can anyone pass me any of his artwork or other mementos? I am very interested in collecting his artwork. I will be delighted to archive them in our digital media.

Picture Captions:

'To Whom The Sun Shines' :: Mustafa Aziz :: The Famous Sketch Artist of Bangladesh :: 1974 Jan 08 Presented me this sketch view card on 1979 Jan 18 :: He lost his job for this sketch and eventually won against the political regime with compensation ....

Mustafa Aziz Coloured Picture :: 1978 Jan 06.

Mustafa Aziz's Interview was taken at Kobi Golam Mostafa's Residence with Mohammad Ali and others for our family literature magazines duhsomoy (দুঃসময়) and duhsahos (দুঃসাহস).

Kobi Golam Mostafa Residence, Monohorpur, Shailkupa, Jhenidah, Bangladesh.

From Shafiul's photo album:
Still my sister, Dr Shamsun Nahar, has preserved them with her tender care.

Pencil Sketch Art :: Mostafa Aziz

I am grateful to my friend, Probir Kumar Saha, Chairman, Rose Group ( for giving me his valuable time to capturing these digital images from Shailkupa in his iPad and emailing them to me on May 12, 2012. Many thanks Peter Aspley for proofreading this article on 2012 June 03.

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ইমেইল:   :: ওয়েবঃ :: Canada :: 

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