Jun 21 2011

Bookmark: Firoz Mahmud

by The Contributing Artist

For Bookmark, ArtAsiaPacific invites an artist to spotlight some of their online sources of inspiration. This week we asked Firoz Mahmud.

Tokyo- and Dhaka-based Firoz Mahmud makes paintings and sculptures that examine social, political and religious belief systems. After completing a BFA and MFA at the Institute of Fine Arts at Dhaka University, Bangladesh, Mahmud is a PhD candidate at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, Japan. His work has recently been shown in the Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates (2011), and Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo (2011). He is currently an artist-in-residence at the International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York.

You can view Mahmud’s work for yourself online here and here.

1. On Behalf of Religion

This image and the images on this website show millions of Muslims celebrating Hajj (the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia) and many are returning to their homes to celebrate Eid al-Adha (an important religious holiday). These images stimulate me because they show people struggling for religion. Such scenes can be observed very often in trains, launches and buses in Bangladesh, when people go back home during unlimited strikes, and religious and federal holidays. These people deeply inspire me to make art.

3. A Fan of Fans: A History-Making Singer Spread Pop Air on Earth.

I started listening to English music when Michael Jackson’s Thriller album came out while  I was in high school. He was, I think, the most entertaining man on earth. He had a controversial life and he made brilliant pieces of music that stimulated me a lot. I used to listen to his music and learn how he danced. He was brilliant and mad, and so are his fans.

5. Asahoryu Akinori: A Grand Champion

Asahoryu is the most wild and robust Sumo wrestler I have ever seen. He is a dangerous man against any other sumo wrestler. If he loses, the entire audience starts to throw their sitting cushions around. I don’t like how he disrespects other sumo wrestlers after he defeats them, but I am very fascinated by his technique. He was one of the most successful yokozuna ever, winning 25 top-division tournament championships, placing him third on the all-time list during his career.

2. Entertain With Our Own Life: With Mass Destructive Instruments

I was always fascinated by militarism, war and fighter aircrafts. I try to see air shows wherever they are held. Aircrafts energize and enliven me. But it is a pity that they are made using public taxes! The video shows a Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, which is used by many governments. All governments spend money on buying such combat aircrafts.

4. I Make Dreams With Them

I’m amazed by this website design, and the color charts and plans displayed here. I feel like I’m looking at a bunch of oil-paint tubes that are waiting for me to make a Layapa painting. The chart inspires me to dream of painting a painting.

6. New Faith: Few Cults

Life Magazine’s images of cultists, religious priests and spiritual figures make me feel very strange because of how these people intended to initiate a new religion, belief and create disciples. Their philosophy and what they believe it means is intriguing to me.