Art is not valued as much as it deserves to be: president
ISLAMABAD: Inaugurating the third National Calligraphy exhibition, President Dr Arif Alvi said on Tuesday that it is important to inculcate children with knowledge of culture and tradition, and told people to produce a generation that values its culture and traditions to transform the country into a progressive nation.
Dr Alvi said: “Art and culture give you the freedom to express. Its fruits are broad-based development.”
The exhibition was organised by the National Language Promotion Department (NLPD). It featured 250 calligraphic pieces, some 60 to 70 years old, on display at the National Art Gallery.
The pieces included works of renowned past calligraphers and contributions from contemporary artists and students.
Dr Alvi said art is not valued and appreciated as much as it deserves to be in Pakistan. He told visitors that he used to closely observe calligraphers at work and their entire process.
“I am impressed again to see the love and passion that each calligraphy artist has put into their works. Artists in Pakistan do not seize to astonish me with their magic and their skills,” he said.
“It is important that artists take pride in calligraphy as one of the most beautiful expressions in the art world,” NLPD Director General Iftikhar Arif said.
Nadeem Malik, the secretary of the Ministry of National History and Literary Heritage, hoped thatthe arts would continue to find patronage under the leadership of Dr Alvi.
Some of the artists represented at the show including the late Syed Nafeesul Hassan, Sufi Khurshid and Jamil Tanvir.
Respected calligraphist Rashid Butt said that the show was an opportunity for young artists to be represented side by side with master artists, and to appreciate and learn from them.
Many at the show did not know that the letters carved in steel and mounted in front of the parliament building in 2006 was the work of calligraphist Elahi Bukhsh Mutee, who learned calligraphy as a child and told Dawn that the learning process had never ended. He had contributed half a dozen works some executed in gold paper.
Wajid Yaqoob, another artist, described the calligraphic art of Thuluth, a large and elegant cursive script, as one of the hardest.