Mansoor Rahi celebrates 74th birthday in style
By Rizwan Khatik - Tue Jan 03, 5:01 am
Eminent artist, Mansoor Rahi, celebrated his 74th birthday here Sunday in the company of his present and past students, gallery owners and some art lovers. Rahi surprised the gathering when he made an announcement that it is a tradition in Bengal for the birthday boy to give a gift to each invitee. Hence, keeping the tradition alive, he would like to present a gift to all the guests.
He then invited each person by name and stunned them by presenting his original painting to each one of them. These action paintings were especially made for this occasion in Rahi’s iconic style in the last three days of 2011. Most of them were in black and white, with some additions of blues and red, while a few had a bright rising red sun welcoming the dawn of a new year.
Exchanging views on the occasion, the students, who ranged from schoolgirls to older housewives, praised Rahi for his various attributes. They considered themselves lucky for working under the guidance of this phenomenal artist and his wife Hajra Mansur. They mentioned that Rahi is not only a great teacher, but also a mentor and an outstanding human being with adorable traits.
Dr. Arjumand Faisel, curator of gallery6, thanked artist Zainul Abedin, who advised Rahi to migrate to the then West Pakistan from East Pakistan in 1965 to establish art activities. Arjumand said, this advice has had a tremendous contribution in the art of Pakistan and appealed to all art schools of the country to benefit from the rich teaching experience of this living legend.
Paying her tributes, Nahida Reza of Jharoka Gallery said, she has achieved her present position through constant encouragement and inspiration from him. Art students Dr. Nighat and Ammarah read brief interesting papers about the life and achievements of Rahi and Hajra and felt proud to be associated with them. A sumptuous lunch added to the occasion.
Rahi was born in West Bengal. He graduated in Fine Arts from Government College of Arts and Crafts, Dhaka. He further advanced his research in art from Japan, France and Germany. Over the years, he has received numerous awards including Pride of Performance in 2008. A very important contribution by him was a series of talks that he conducted weekly for 6 years on PTV, enriching common people with art appreciation.