Rafiqun Nabi

Rafiqun Nabi b.1943

Rafiqun NabiFew painters have been able to give such childlike wonder to images of Bangladesh’s rural beauty. Whether it is a lone bird, a goat grazing on the grass or the bandor wala (monkey man) making his monkey play tricks, Nabi’s expert strokes and soothing hues, never fail to delight. Famous for his ‘Tokai’ series (under the name of Ranabi), the artist this time at Dhaka Art Centre (DAC) displays his works of rural Bangladesh, with the finesse and grandeur of his years honing a God-given gift.

He has shown crows and buffalos as well as goats and done them in such graphic detail that they leave an indelible mark on the mind. His hills, valleys, clumps of trees, thatched huts, the depiction of grey sky-scrapers of the concrete jungles of the cosmopolitan cities are there too. Meanwhile, he separates his figures by leaving a lot of white or egg-yellow, with faint inter twining lines of brilliant orange. The greens that he uses for the main tree clumps are jade and emerald. The mauve that we find in the sky that merges with seas and land are in variations. When he portrays people he remembers the colour of their headbands, headband and “lungis” or sarongs.


1964 : Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts (presently Institute of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka)

1973-76 : Studied Print Making in Athens School of Fine Arts under Greek Govt’s Post Graduate Scholarship, GreeceSolo Exhibitions:1976 : Campion School, Athens, Greece1981 : Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts Gallery, Dhaka1983 : Solo Cartoon Exhibition, Biswa Shahittya Kendra, Dhaka1985 : Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh1987 : Non-Aligned Countries Gallery, Titograd, former Yugoslavia presently Serbia1998 : Shilpangan Art Gallery, Dhaka2004 : ’25 Years of Tokaii’, Gallery Chitrak, Dhaka2006 : ‘Down Memory Lane’, Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, DhakaMajor Group Exhibitions:1964 : 16 Painter’s Show, Dhaka, Bangladesh1966 : Fifth Tehran (regional) Biennial, Tehran, Iran1966 : Open Air Exhibition, Arts Ensemble Gallery, Dhaka1967 : Exhibition of Painting, Graphic and Ceramic, Dacca Lions Club, Dhaka1968 : Two Man Show ( Hashem Khan and Rafiqun Nabi), Dhaka1971 : Cartoon Exhibition, Dhaka1972 : Exhibition of Sketch Group, Dhaka, Bangladesh1973 : Exhibition of Contemporary Art of Bangladesh, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai, India1974 : Mobile Group Exhibition, Athens, Greece1977-05 : 3rd to 16th National Art Exhibition, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka1977 : Prints Exhibition of Bangladesh in Yugoslavia (Serbia), Germany, Poland and Rumania1978 : 1st International Saloon of Cartoons, Canada1979 : 1st Asian Graphic Design Biennial, Tehran, Iran1979 : Water Colour Exhibition in Dhaka1980 : Inter Graphic-80, Berlin, East Germany1980 : Contemporary Asian Art Show, Fukuoka, Japan1980 : Drawing and Print Show in Dhaka1981-06 : 1st to 12th Asian Art Biennial Bangladesh, Dhaka1981 : 6h Festival of Asian Art, Hong Kong1982 : Fifth Triennial – India, New Delhi, India1983 : 9 Artists Graphic Prints, Dhaka1984 : 8th British International Print Biennial, Bradford, UK1984 : Print Biennial, Oslo, Norway1984 : Inter Graphic-84, Berlin, Germany1984 : Prints of Bangladesh, Warsaw, Poland1986 : Drawing Exhibition, Rejeka, Yugoslavia (Serbia)1987 : Graphic Print Biennial, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia (Serbia)1988 : Prints of Asia and Africa, Vienna1988 : Contemporary Art of Bangladesh, Tokyo, Japan1988 : Inter Graphic-88, Berlin, Germany1988 : Exhibition of Original Drawings, Rijeka, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia (Serbia)1989 : Contemporary Art of Bangladesh Exhibition, Beijing, China1986 : Contemporary Art of Islamic World, London, UK1990 : Inter Graphic-90, Berlin, Germany1992 : Contemporary Painters of Bangladesh, Paris, France1993 : Contemporary Graphic Art of Bangladesh, Kolkata, India1994 : Osaka Triennial, Osaka, Japan1994 : Contemporary Art of Bangladesh, Delhi and Kolkata, India1995 : Contemporary Art of Bangladesh, Moscow, Russia1997 : Victory-Day Exhibition organized by Bangladesh Deputy High Commission, Kolkata, India1997 : Special Exhibition organized by Fulki, Gallery 21, Dhaka1999 : Bonner
Summer Festival Contemporary Art Exhibition of Bangladesh, Bonn, Germany1999 : Tribute to Tagore organized by Gallery 21, Dhaka1999 : 5-Artists of Bangladesh and Japan, Tsukuba, Japan2000 : Group Exhibition organized by Saju Art Gallery, Dhaka2000 : Group Exhibition on the occasion of ’50 Years of Institute of Fine Arts’, Dhaka2000 : ‘Srijan Shamahar’ organized by Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, Dhaka2000 : Group Exhibition organized by Gallery Chitrak, Dhaka2000 : ‘First Biennial of Bangladesh Charu Shilpi Sangsad’, Bangladesh National Museum, Dhaka2001 : Contemporary Art of Bangladesh, High Commission of India in Dhaka, Bangladesh2001 : Line and Rhythm organized by Gallery Chitrak, Dhaka2003 : Bangladesh-India Cartoon Exhibition, Bangalore, India2004 : Group Exhibition of Bangladesh Painters, Mumbai, India2005 : ‘100 Years of Dhaka’, Shilpangan Art Gallery, Dhaka2005 : Group Exhibition of Bangladesh Painters, Agartala, India2005 : Bridge of Friendship’ Bangladesh-Japan Joint Art Exhibition, Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, DhakaAwards1980 : Promoters Prize, Inter Graphic-80, Berlin, Germany1989 : Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Award, Dhaka1993 : ‘Ekushey Padak’ (highest civilian award for contribution in Fine Arts), Dhaka1995 : Agrani Bank Award (for Children book design), Dhaka1995 : Agrani Bank Award for best Juvenile Novel ‘Chardike Juddha’, Dhaka2000 : Tri-Taranga Gold Medal, Chittagong, Bangladesh2002 : ‘S M Sultan Padak’, S M Sultan Foundation, Narail, Bangladesh1968-90 : National Book Centre prizes for Children Book Covers for 13 times, Dhaka, BangladeshPublications:3 Novels, 5 Volumes of ‘Tokaii’, 1 Juvenile Novel and 1 Collected EssaysInternational Seminars, Festivals, Workshops and Art Camps:1987 : Attended seminar on Child Survival and Development organized by UNICEF, Dhaka, Bangladesh1994 : Attended Bangladesh Cultural Festival, Kolkata, India1996 : The Mexican International Tribunal against child labour, Mexico1997 : Attended Cultural Festival of Eight Countries and seminar on Folk Art, Istanbul, Turkey1999 : ‘Art Camp of Contemporary Bengali Artists’ from West Bengal And Bangladesh, organized by Bengal Foundation, Dhaka2003 : Cartoon Workshop in Bangalore organized by Maxueller Bhawan, Bangalore, India2004 : Workshop at Mumbai, India2005 : Workshop at Agartala, India2005 : Italy Art Camp 2005 organized by Bengal Foundation, Florence, Italy2006 : Artist Camp on the Bengal Baishakhi Utsav 1413 (Bengali New Year Festival ) organized by Bengal Foundation, Dhaka2006 : Artist Camp for fund raising for Muktijudha Jadughar on the occasion of Independence Day, organized by Channel-I and Muktijudha Jadughar, Dhaka2006 : Artist Camp organized by Impress Telefilm Ltd (Channel-I and Gallery Chitrak), Dhaka2006 : ‘Dhaka Art Camp 2006′ organized by Bengal Foundation, DhakaPositions Held:1994-97 : Director, Institute of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh1986-90 : President, Bangladesh Charu Shilpi Sangsad (Bangladesh Artists Association)1997-2000 : President, Bangladesh Charu Shilpi Sangsad (Bangladesh Artists Association)Present Position:ProfessorDrawing & PaintingInstitute of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka