Patachitra or scroll painting, is an once-popular form of narrative painting drawn on a piece of cotton or any other fabric portraying mythic and historic tales. It dates back to the Buddhist period when Buddhist bhikkus used scroll paintings to spread messages of Buddhism. Subsequently, during Hindu rule, these scroll paintings depicted stories from the Puranas. During the 13th century, after the Muslim conquest of Bengal, exploits of Muslim saints i.e. Gazi Pir, accounts of the war at Karbala, were adopted.
Due to rapid urbanization, patachitra is disappearing fast from public sphere. Yet, a few contemporary artists have made bold strides in promoting traditional scroll painting. Nazir Hossain specializes in scroll painting in his own manner. He mostly paint scroll with a story which includes a tiger, it can be interpreted as the contemporary Gazi(the heroic character from Gazir pat) Recurrence of tiger is common to all scroll painters but what sets Nazir apart is the unsettling nature of his tiger, sometimes attacking while some other times playing a flute to pacify a situation, some teaching and some rowing a boat also. He does not necessarily follow every element of traditional patachitra in terms of mediums, nature of colors and even characters, but his experimental works reflect the essence of this form in terms of composition. And his canvas if complemented with strokes like nakshi kantha stiches too.
In the history of folk art in Bangladesh, Rickshaw art is a rather urban and recent phenomenon, which dates back to the 1950s and flourished in the early 1970s. A form of pastiche with glitzy doses of red and blue, rickshaw art motifs include images of heroes and heroines from Bangladeshi cinema, flowers, birds, religious images and even patriotic images. RK Das, Ali Nur, Dawood Ustad and Alauddin, among others, had initiated this art.
Rickshaw art used to be viewed as a lower form of raw art. But perceptions have changed in its favor as from the 1990s many prominent artists have interpreted it as articulation of the tastes and interests of the masses and have applied the same motifs to their works.
Traditional hand-painted cinema posters have similarities to rickshaw paintings in matters of motif and subject. Sitesh, one of the prominent artists in the field, has been painting professionally since 1985 and it takes him and his team two days to complete a film poster and he paints them professionally. But sadly, it is also a dying art form.