Shahabuddin completed his graduation in Fine Arts from the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts, Dhaka University. He travelled to France on a scholarship to study fine arts at the Ecole Superieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris.
His works challenge time and space. He explores the difficulties of life, human and animal, and depicts this with clever dynamism and vibrancy with a strong sense of movement.
In 1971 he participated in the war for liberation for Bangladesh. His earliest shows were held at his alma mater while others around Bangladesh like the Shilpkala Academy in 1981, 1983 and 1986. He exhibited extensively abroad at venues such as the Culture Centre, Poland, 1977 and the Gallery L’Agence, Paris, 1984.
His works have also featured in prominent group shows around the world. He was awarded the Prime Minister Medal in 1973 for the best painter in the country, Bangla Academy Award in 1975 and the Salon de Printemps Gold Medal, Paris in 1981. In 1992 he was one of the 50 Master Painters of Contemporary Arts, an award bestowed on him at the Olympiad of the Arts Barcelona.