Mueen Saheed with singer Muththalagu
Through art, two artists connected, and this time not for any artistic collaboration but helping out one artiste to rebuild his life.
Mueen Saheed, a celebrated international artist who has exhibited his work across Europe and Asia, connected with singer Suriya Kumara Muththalagu for a charitable cause.
“I was approached by the Divisional Secretariat of Thimbirigasyaya, Priyantha Disanayaka and Cultural Officer of Thimbirigasyaya Cultural Sumithra Herath, to collaborate with Muththalagu for a good cause and the good cause happened to be doing up Suriya Kumara’s house through his musical journey,” Mueen Saheed said.
“Later I decided to start an initiative to help forgotten artists and raise funds for their various needs”.
Saheed, a successful artist and his collaboration with many international galleries and artists, has helped him secure a decent living but many artists aren’t as fortunate as him.
“Singer Suriya Kumara Muththalagu has been living in this house for many years and it has been in a state of disrepair. This way, I am giving back to my profession and helping a fellow artist whose house was in shambles. I allocated a certain amount and with help of others I was able to complete the house in two weeks, and it was so refreshing and uplifting to see the happiness and togetherness it brought among the community”.
Muththalagu said that he had been in the industry for 30 years and sang over 100 songs, yet he wasn’t able to build a proper house or do any renovation to the existing one.
Singer Suriya Kumara Muththalagu has been living in this house for many years and it has been in a state of disrepair. This way, I am giving back to my profession and helping a fellow artist whose house was in shambles. I allocated a certain amount and with help of others I was able to complete the house in
“I wasn’t financially stable, I approached government officials, who sent the concerned authorities, and later Mueen Saheed came in. I am grateful that my house was done and now we have a decent living space,” he said.
The work inspired Mueen Saheed to start an initiative to help artists in need and provide them with
“I know several artists out there who need a lot of support and who have been forgotten or neglected. I have decided to start this foundation through the sales of my paintings, and with the generous support of well-wishers, I hope this will help the much-needed upliftment of artists like Muththalagu who has contributed so much to the music of Sri Lanka, and whose songs are classics”.
Mueen Saheed has exhibited internationally in Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Oxford, The Maldives, Bordeaux, and most recently in Paris where he has gathered a lot of attention for his work.
His creations have featured in many hotels, resorts and art exhibitions across the country and abroad. He has collaborated with many leading artists and through his art raised awareness for many social issues including gender-based violence and climate change.Saheed was invited to the Florence Art Biennale in 2019 and awarded the 500 years Da Vinci Award for his creativity and contribution towards art.