Mahbubur Rahman has been one of the most prolific and prominent voices from Bangladesh. Rahman has used multiple mediums like painting, sculpture, video and most importantly performance to bring to the forefront the anguish and anxiety of a Bangladeshi citizen. He has publicly criticized the role of the Government and its inability to free the country from a war ridden past.
Through his not for profit space, Britto, that he co-founded with TayebaLipi, Rahman has invited and established a successful alternate art scene that breaks and challenges the academic art institutions which continue to work within colonial barriers and discourage cultural reforms.
Over a career that spans more than two decades, Mahbubur Rahman has held more than twelve solo exhibition at home and abroad including Devi Art Foundation (2009), New Delhi, India. He has also held two man shows with his wife Tayeba Begum Lipi, which include 'Parables of our Times', Gallery AkarPrakar, Kolkata, (2010); Artificial Reality, La Galerie, Alliance Francaise Dhaka, 2002 and Slave of the Civilization, a performance at Jyvaskyla, Finland, 2000. He recently showed at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, with Lipi, in March 2016.
His selected group shows include 54th La Biennale di Venezia 2011; 5th-14th Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka; Secher Scott, Copenhagen; Videozoom: Bangladesh, Sala 1, Rome, Italy, 2010; 9th-16th, 18th National Art Exhibition, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka; Separating Myth from Reality, an international show organised by Siddharta Art Gallery, Kathmandu; 1mile2 Dhaka, at Old Dhaka, 2009; Britto New Media Festival, Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, 2009; Six Degrees of Separation, South Asian Artists' Exhibition, Anant Gallery, Delhi; Bangladesh Contemporary Art Week, Turkish Cultural and Tourism Center, New York and Bangladesh Contemporary Art Show, European Union House, Brussels by Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts; South Asian Contemporary Art Exhibition, Copenhagen, 2006; In Collaboration with Rickshaw Painters, La Galerie, Alliance Francaise Dhaka; Open Studio Day Show, Gasworks Studio, London, 2005; Indian Triennale, Lalitkala Academy, Delhi ;3rd Young Artist's Exhibition of Japan-Bangladesh, Gallery 52, Japan and Zainul Gallery, Dhaka, 2001; Translation, Displacement and Actualisation, Gallery '68 elf', Cologne, Germany; Veri-nice-saari a performance & installation art show, Jyvaskyla, Finland; Rickshaw Painting in Bangladesh, Galerie-Freiraum, Waltrop, Germany, 2000; Traveling Exhibition in South Asia in Kathmandu, Thimpu, Kolkata & Dhaka and finally 4th Asian Art Show, Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan, 1994.
Recipient of nineteen grants and awards, his significant ones including "Grand Award" in the 9th Asian Art Biennale, 1999 and Honorable Mention Awards in the 14th Asian Art Biennale in 2010, as well as 7th and 5th Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka in 1995 and 1991, Grand Prize at the 13th National Art Exhibition, 1998, as well as Best Awards in Sculpture in 1998, 1994 and 1990 at Young Artists' Exhibition, hosted by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka; a one-year fellowship from the artist Aminul Islam Trust, Bangladesh, 2004, selected for a fellowship of Unesco-Aschberg Bursaries for Artists' Programme, 2001