It was Aminul Islam, an extremely well regarded painter in bangladesh who said : “Great art is something more than just formal beauty. It should carry a message, reflect the spirit of the age, and, at its best, prognosticate and prophesy.”

Well I think S M Samsu has managed to do that here with this particular rickshaw painting. The text reads “Visa, Free, Bangladesh to America.”

S M Samsu Rickshaw art

Samsu is one of Dhaka’s most prominent rickshaw painters. With this one, he has left his usual theme of bengal tiger tea parties or bengal tigers and monkeys as traffic controllers, and has correctly captured a popular aspiration. Sadly political and social commentary in art is a rare thing these days in bangladesh. And one finds it only in niche forms like this. The Kamrul Hasans, the Abeddins, the Quayyum Chowdhurys and others who had a socio-political vision in their art, at least at some point in their lives, seem not to have too many successors.