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Mahbubur Rahman , Sounds from Nowhere, stainless steel

Sounds from nowhere - 8, Stainless steel & surgical scissors, 12.5 cm x 79 cm x 16 cm (head) and 25 cm (tail), 2015

Mahbubur Rahman , Learner, charcoal drawing

Learner, charcoal on paper, 100 cm x 70 cm, 2016

Mahbubur Rahman , Learner, charcoal drawing

Learner II, charcoal on paper, 100 cm x 70 cm, 2016

Mahbubur Rahman , Absence, charcoal drawing

Absence, charcoal on paper, 100 cm x 70 cm, 2015

Mahbubur Rahman , Landing, charcoal drawing

Landing - 4, Charcoal, acrylic and digital print on paper, 146 cm x 93 cm, 2009

Mahbubur Rahman ,  charcoal drawing and digital print

What was really happening there?, Charcoal on paper, 100 cm x 70 cm, 2015

Mahbubur Rahman , Burning Violin, stainless steel

Burning Violin, Stainless steel, 60 cm x 10 cm x 25 cm, 2018 (AP + 1)

Mahbubur Rahman , Rest Room, surgical scissors

Rest Room, Stainless steel, 105 cm x 27.5 cm x 55 cm, 2018 (AP + 1)

Mahbubur Rahmna, Surgical scissors, sculpture

My Cello, Stainless steel and surgical scissors, 175 cm x 75 cm x 90 cm, 2018, (AP + 1)

Mahbubur Rahman ,Man with gas mask, stainless steel

Man with Gas Mask, Stainless steel, 35 cm x 30 cm x 35 cm (AP + 5)

Mahbubur Rahman , India  Gate, stainless steel

India Gate, Stainless steel, 35 cm x 20 cm x 30 cm, 2018, (AP + 5)

Mahbubur Rahman, leather , surgical scissors, Lonely King

Lonely King, Stainless steel, surgical scissors & leather, 67.5 cm x 60 cm x 69 cm, 2016

Mahbubur Rahman, leather , surgical scissors, Lonely King

Lonely King, Stainless steel, surgical scissors & leather, 67.5 cm x 60 cm x 69 cm, 2016

Mabubur Rahman, stainless steel, transformation

Transformation, Stainless steel, 600 cm x 150 x 125 cm, 2018 (AP + 1)

Mahbubur Rahman , Lonely King, digital print

Lonely King, Digital print, 75 cm x 50 cm, 2018 (AP + 5)

Mahbubur Rahman , Lonely King, digital print

Lonely King, Digital print, 75 cm x 50 cm, 2018 (AP + 5)

Mahbubur Rahman , Dislocation, drawing and digital print

Dislocation, Iron ink drawing & gold leaf on digital print, 67.5 cm x 42.5 cm, 2018 (AP + 11)

Mahbubur Rahman ,  Dislocation,  drawing and digital print

Dislocation, Iron ink drawing & gold leaf on digital print, 67.5 cm x 42.5 cm, 2018 (AP + 11)

Mahbubur Rahman ,  Dislocation,  drawing and digital print

Dislocation, Iron ink drawing & gold leaf on digital print, 67.5 cm x 42.5 cm, 2018 (AP + 11)

Mahbubur Rahman ,  Dislocation,  drawing and digital print

Dislocation, Iron ink drawing & gold leaf on digital print, 67.5 cm x 42.5 cm, 2018 (AP + 11)

Mahbubur Rahman ,  Empty Heart,  Brass, Crystal & Gold leaf

Empty Heart, Brass, Crystal & Gold leaf, 34 cm x 20 cm x 24cm (AP + 3)

Mahbubur Rahman, Absent, brass & crystal & gold leaf

Absent, Brass, Crystal & Gold leaf, 26 cm x 20 cm x 12.5 cm (AP + 3)

Mahbubur Rahman , Gateway, stainless steel

Gateway, Stainless steelm 55 cm x 20 cm x 40 cm, 2019 (AP + 3)

Mahbubur Rahman (b. 1969) is one of the leading contemporary multidisciplinary artists of Bangladesh, working with a range of mediums such as painting, photography, sculpture as well as performances. His works have consistently questioned his post war identity and the fabric of social structure in Bangladesh, which according to Rahman, has been stagnant in its growth for many years. By imposing his own portraiture in his works, he blurs the boundary between his own struggles and the country’s incapability to move forward.

Rahman’s artworks are audibly screaming and confrontational; his spontaneous performances in public places being a testimony to his frustrations. His choice of materials range from cow hides to stainless steel scissors, finding, as he says ‘Beauty in ugly things that represent death or pain or separation’, which directly relate to the themes of partition, separation and religious orthodoxy.

Rahman has an extensive history of solo exhibitions and projects spanning several decades. In 2024, he showcased "Temples of Democracy" at Bikaner House in New Delhi, presented by Blueprint12. His recent works include "Quarantine" at Bengal Shilpalay in Dhaka (2023) and "Bridging The Gap," a solo project at Chows Restaurant in Dhaka (2019), supported by the World Food Program. Notable past exhibitions include "Sounds from Nowhere" at Bikaner House, New Delhi (2018), curated by Amit Jain, and "Dust to Dust" at Bengal Art Lounge in Dhaka (2015). Rahman has also participated in numerous significant group exhibitions, including at the Centraal Museum Utrecht, Netherlands (2024), Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale in Riyadh (2024), Kunsthaus Zürich (2023), and Documenta fifteen (2022). His collaborative works with artist Tayeba Begum Lipi include exhibitions at the Modern Art Museum, Shanghai (2018), and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum (MSU), USA (2016). Rahman's group exhibition history also spans various international venues, including the Venice Biennale (2011), Gwangju Biennale (2008), and numerous biennales in Bangladesh.

The artist has received numerous awards throughout his career, recognizing his contributions to art and performance. In 2017, he was honored with the 'Award in promoting Performance Art' by People’s Theatre in collaboration with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. In 2011, he was named Shera Bangali (Art) by Star Anada, India. He received an Honorable Mention Award at the National Exhibition by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in 2009. In 2004, he was awarded a one-year fellowship from the Artist Aminul Islam Trust in Bangladesh. His academic excellence was recognized in 2001 with a Gold Medal at the 42nd Convocation of the University of Dhaka for achieving the highest marks in his M.F.A., and he was selected for the UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for Artists Programme. Rahman has also received several honorable mentions and awards for his sculpture and experimental painting, including the Grand Award at the 9th Asian Biennale by Shilpakala Academy in 1999 and the Best Award in Sculpture at both the 12th and 10th Young Artists' Art Exhibitions. Notably, in 1997, he won the 'Art for Amnesty –’96’ Best Award by Amnesty International Bangladesh. His early achievements include the Best Student of the Year 1991 award by the Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka, and several awards from the Bulbul Academy of Fine Art, Dhaka.

He is also the co-founder of Britto Arts Trust (2002), which is Bangladesh’s first artist-run alternative arts platform with an aim to encourage international collaborations and residencies, host exhibitions and lead alternative arts practices in Bangladesh. Much more recently, Britto has participated in Documenta fifteen,  Kassel, Germany from 18 June- 25 September 2022. Britto Arts Trust has also shown at the India Art Fair 2018, with the aim to promote contemporary voices from Bangladesh.

He lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Mahbubur Rahman

Selected Exhibitions:

Centraal Museum Utrecht, Netherlands (2024)

Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale in Riyadh (2024)

Documenta fifteen (2022)

Seismic Movements’
at Dhaka Art Summit (2020)

‘Sounds from Nowhere’ at Bikaner House, New Delhi (2019)


Publications:

Verve Magazine

Business Standard

The Week

Indian Express


Mahbubur Rahman , Sounds from Nowhere, stainless steel

Sounds from nowhere - 8, Stainless steel & surgical scissors, 12.5 cm x 79 cm x 16 cm (head) and 25 cm (tail), 2015

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman , Learner, charcoal drawing

Learner, charcoal on paper, 100 cm x 70 cm, 2016

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman , Learner, charcoal drawing

Learner II, charcoal on paper, 100 cm x 70 cm, 2016

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman , Absence, charcoal drawing

Absence, charcoal on paper, 100 cm x 70 cm, 2015

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman , Landing, charcoal drawing

Landing - 4, Charcoal, acrylic and digital print on paper, 146 cm x 93 cm, 2009

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman ,  charcoal drawing and digital print

What was really happening there?, Charcoal on paper, 100 cm x 70 cm, 2015

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman , Burning Violin, stainless steel

Burning Violin, Stainless steel, 60 cm x 10 cm x 25 cm, 2018 (AP + 1)

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman , Rest Room, surgical scissors

Rest Room, Stainless steel, 105 cm x 27.5 cm x 55 cm, 2018 (AP + 1)

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahmna, Surgical scissors, sculpture

My Cello, Stainless steel and surgical scissors, 175 cm x 75 cm x 90 cm, 2018, (AP + 1)

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman ,Man with gas mask, stainless steel

Man with Gas Mask, Stainless steel, 35 cm x 30 cm x 35 cm (AP + 5)

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman , India  Gate, stainless steel

India Gate, Stainless steel, 35 cm x 20 cm x 30 cm, 2018, (AP + 5)

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman, leather , surgical scissors, Lonely King

Lonely King, Stainless steel, surgical scissors & leather, 67.5 cm x 60 cm x 69 cm, 2016

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman, leather , surgical scissors, Lonely King

Lonely King, Stainless steel, surgical scissors & leather, 67.5 cm x 60 cm x 69 cm, 2016

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mabubur Rahman, stainless steel, transformation

Transformation, Stainless steel, 600 cm x 150 x 125 cm, 2018 (AP + 1)

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman , Lonely King, digital print

Lonely King, Digital print, 75 cm x 50 cm, 2018 (AP + 5)

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman , Lonely King, digital print

Lonely King, Digital print, 75 cm x 50 cm, 2018 (AP + 5)

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman , Dislocation, drawing and digital print

Dislocation, Iron ink drawing & gold leaf on digital print, 67.5 cm x 42.5 cm, 2018 (AP + 11)

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman ,  Dislocation,  drawing and digital print

Dislocation, Iron ink drawing & gold leaf on digital print, 67.5 cm x 42.5 cm, 2018 (AP + 11)

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman ,  Dislocation,  drawing and digital print

Dislocation, Iron ink drawing & gold leaf on digital print, 67.5 cm x 42.5 cm, 2018 (AP + 11)

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman ,  Dislocation,  drawing and digital print

Dislocation, Iron ink drawing & gold leaf on digital print, 67.5 cm x 42.5 cm, 2018 (AP + 11)

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman ,  Empty Heart,  Brass, Crystal &amp; Gold leaf

Empty Heart, Brass, Crystal & Gold leaf, 34 cm x 20 cm x 24cm (AP + 3)

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman, Absent, brass &amp; crystal &amp; gold leaf

Absent, Brass, Crystal & Gold leaf, 26 cm x 20 cm x 12.5 cm (AP + 3)

Mahbubur Rahman

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Mahbubur Rahman , Gateway, stainless steel

Gateway, Stainless steelm 55 cm x 20 cm x 40 cm, 2019 (AP + 3)

Mahbubur Rahman

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