Asaf is a great photographer of the soul. He is a 26-year old from Bangladesh, and has already won numerous international awards. He writes about himself: “I am a very simple guy who came from a village to a super competitive megacity and overcame all the obstacles in my life to fulfil my dreams. When I came to Dhaka, I realized that beauty manifests in many forms. This city is a manifestation of the contrast of nature and urbanization.”.
Milano Expo 2015
I met him in 2015, at Expo Milan. I was the artistic directorof the Holy See pavilion exhibitions, a truly intense experience. I had chosen to make a photographic exhibition on a wall that would showcase the hunger of humanity – hunger for human rights, hunger for food, thirst – and parallel to that, 3 short films with the answers of the Church. I proposed to S. Em. Cardinal Ravasi, Mons. Dal Toso and Mons. Iacobone to involve photographers from all over the world and from different religions. https://www.caffestoria.it/ad-expo-la-soluzione-in-tre-film-con-cristo-al-centro/
The photo they chose for the opening was that of the very young Asaf, who had been introduced to me by the director of the Dhaka International Film Festival, Ahmed Zamal.
The eyes of this man, captured in one of the streets of Dhaka, became the symbol of the exhibition and impressed in many hearts.
Asaf photographer of the soul
In five years we have organised a solo show in Italy; his shots were part of the Holy See Pavilion exhibition in Astana, Kazakhstan 2017; he created the poster for Religion Today Film Festival 2019; he has published his photos on the National Geographic and other major magazines.
In 2020 he was awarded the prize for best photographer in the Agora world contest, and Asaf is described as the “best green photographer”.
Asaf’s shots penetrate your soul, get inside and move the deepest strings. Each of his photographs tells the story of humanity and fills it with poetry. There is no judgment in Asaf’s art: he manages to find the beauty of the richest and the poorest, in the megalopolis and among the shacks.
Asaf manages to get in touch with nature, plants, animals, landscapes. It is as if he was able to understand an unknown language and to speak, through his photos, in that very language.
Asaf’s shots are deeply spiritual, they put man in contact with God, they recall the power of Michelangelo in his Renaissance. Asaf always puts God first and feels like his little instrument.
From the beginning with a mobile phone…
Asaf started taking his first photographs with a Nokia 5300 in 2008. From there, the first step was with an old Nippon of his father, Md. Shamsul Azam. In his first solo exhibition in Italy, almost all the photos were sold and Asaf was able to get professional equipment.
He describes himself: “As a photographer, my essential aim is to capture the moments of life and give them significance by making them static in time. A photo exists regardless of time and space; it is immune to the passing time. As a result, a photo captures the beauty that lies in a single moment, and with it captures the marvel and artistic aspect of it. I love to travel and be in different places, meet new people, and enjoy the experience that photography offers, which is to capture the earth’s beautiful and awe-inspiring moments. I always want to represent my country, Bangladesh”.
Discovering talents: Asaf photographer of the soul
When I first saw the shots of that young photographer, I was fascinated. But I also thought about the difficulty for a young man who doesn’t have the same chances as a peer in Europe.
I immediately chose to support him and help him by organizing his first exhibitions so that he could go on with his passion, but also to allow the whole world to improve through the beauty of his art.
Let’s give confidence to young people, and let’s give them tools to express themselves – they will give us great satisfaction!
To deepen the tastes of young talents