Shamim Sikder

Shamim Sikder (22 October 1952 – 21 March 2023) was a Bangladeshi sculptor.[1] Sikder served as a professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka between 1980–2001.[2] She was awarded the Ekushey Padak in 2000 by the Government of Bangladesh.[2]

Shamim Sikder
শামীম শিকদার
Sculptor Shamim Sikder with Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.jpg
Sikder with Kazi Nazrul Islam in 1973
Born(1952-10-22)22 October 1952
Died21 March 2023(2023-03-21) (aged 70)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Alma materBulbul Academy of Fine Arts London Metropolitan University University of Dhaka
Occupation(s)Sculptor, Professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka
(m. 1975)
RelativesSiraj Sikder (brother)
AwardsEkushey Padak (2000)
Prime Minister's Award for Sculpture (1974)

Early life and educationEdit

Shamim Sikder was born on 22 October 1952 in Faridpur District, East Bengal.[3] Her father was Abdur Razzaq Sikder, and belonged to a Bengali Muslim zamindar family in Chaygaon, Assam.[3] Her older brother Siraj Sikder was a Bangladeshi revolutionary politician.[3]

Sikder enrolled at the Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts at the age of 15.[4] In 1976, she moved to the Sir John Cass School of Art in London at the age of 23 (currently the School of Art, Architecture and Design (London Metropolitan University)).


Sikder served as a professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka between 1980–2001.[2] In 1974, she built a sculpture at Dhaka Central Jail to commemorate the country's founding president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Other notable works include Shoparjito Shadhinota, at the Dhaka University Teacher-Student Centre in 1990 which commemorates the Bangladesh Liberation War.

In 1999 she inaugurated Swadhinata Sangram at Dhaka University's Fuller Road area. The sculpture depicts pivotal events in Bangladesh's history including the Bengali language movement, the Six point movement, 7 March Speech of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Operation Searchlight, Independence Day, and Victory Day. The sculpture is made with the faces of 16 martyrs who were killed in each movement. In addition, she has sculpted over a hundred works around the triangular road surrounding the sculpture, which include busts of eminent personalities such as Rabindranath Tagore, and Kazi Nazrul Islam, and portraits of Yasser Arafat, AK Fazlul Haque, and Maulana Bhasani.

Her works have been exhibited in both Bangladesh and abroad, most notably at the Commonwealth Institute in 1976 in London, United Kingdom.[2] In 2000 she was awarded the Ekushey Padak by the Government of Bangladesh [2] for her contribution to the arts.

Personal lifeEdit

She was married to Zakaria Khan Chowdhury a Bengali language movement activist and a Member of Parliament from Habiganj-2. Chowdhury was instrumental in forming the Haor Development Board by president Ziaur Rahman in 1977. He was also the publisher of The Manobkantha.[8] She had two children with him, a son and daughter who currently reside in London, United Kingdom. After her retirement in 2001, she moved to London, United Kingdom where she continued sculpting.

She was allegedly the subject of Ahmed Sofa's novel Ardhek Nari Ardhek Ishvari (Half Women Half Goddess, 1995). Sikder was also featured in Humayan Ahmed's last novel Deyal in which he chronicles the socio-political crisis in the aftermath of the war of independence of Bangladesh.


In 2022 she returned to Bangladesh with the hopes of preserving her works including the reconstruction of Zainul Abedin's sculpture at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka. Sikder died on 21 March 2023, at the age of 70 in Dhaka.[9] She is survived by a son and daughter that live in London, United Kingdom.




  1. ^ "Death threat for Bangladesh sculptor". BBC. 30 June 1999. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Shamim Sikdar". Bengal Foundation. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Islam, Sirajul (2012). "Sikder, Siraj". In Islam, Sirajul; Miah, Sajahan; Khanam, Mahfuza; Ahmed, Sabbir (eds.). Banglapedia: the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Online ed.). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Banglapedia Trust, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. ISBN 984-32-0576-6. OCLC 52727562. Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  4. ^ "Profile of Shamim Sikder". Arts Thread. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  5. ^ Takir Hussain (13 December 2013). "Sculptures themed on the Liberation War". The Daily Star. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  6. ^ M H Haider (4 September 2012). "mirrors of DOGMA". The Daily Star. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  7. ^ Palash Podder (5 February 2004). "An emblem of liberation". The Daily Star. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  8. ^ "Language movement hero Zakaria Khan Chowdhury dies". Daily Sun. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Sculptor Shamim Sikder dies". New Age. 21 March 2023. Retrieved 21 March 2023.