Islamic Calligraphy Attracts Visitors To Lok Virsa
ISLAMABAD: An exhibition of traditional Islamic calligraphy “Mesmerising colours of peace and tradition” by eminent artist Muhammad Azeem Iqbal and others opened here at Shakarparian under the aegis of the National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa).
The inaugural ceremony was taken place at the Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology, popularly known as Heritage Museum. Mashhood Ahmed Mirza, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritages was the chief guest on the occasion. The exhibition features over 150 masterpieces.
In his address Mashhodd Mirza appreciated the works of the artist adding “Pakistan has a deep and historical background of the calligraphic traditions which have been beautifully showcased by Azeem Iqbal in his masterpieces.” The Joint Secretary also commended services of Lok Virsa and its Chief Executive Khalid Javaid for promoting the cultural heritage of Pakistan, in particular the Islamic traditions such as calligraphic art.
He offered full support from his ministry for every initiative aiming to project and promote Pakistani culture and the practitioners associated with them.
Azeem Iqbal is into Islamic art and calligraphy for the last 25 years. He has introduced a unique identity in his art. Many artists have also endorsed his calligraphic style. Instead of traditional calligraphy, he replicated the classical styles of calligraphy from the early days of Islam by using similar materials and resources of that era. He addresses evolution of Islamic art and calligraphy in his work.
He has added a new dimension in this field that may be called as portrayal of Islamic history and evolution of Quranic calligraphy. Most of his work centres at the chronological evolution of calligraphy in Islamic art. His work also symbolizes for the cultural identity of entire Islamic world.
He collaged various indigenous resources and traditional stuff like bones, wood, leather, deer’s skin, gold and silver leaves in his art. He also pioneered the tradition of using “Aab-e-zam zam” – sacred zam zam water of Makkah to dilute the colours that are used to write holy verses of the Quran. His work has been showcased across Pakistan and abroad. Recently, he has created a series of Quranic calligraphy to promote the message of peace and humanity through art.
Calligraphy, the art which combines visual image and written word, is perhaps at its most brilliance in the arts of Islam. Islamic calligraphy traditionally took its inspiration from the Muslim belief in the divine origin of Arabic writing, the medium through which the Qura’nic revelation to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) was recorded. In early Islam, the sanctity of Arabic writing was accepted among Arabs and non-Arabs alike, and its use in sacred and official texts gave rise to a wonderful profusion of scripts, and a calligraphic tradition which has flourished for over a thousand years – not only in manuscript decoration in architecture, ceramics and painting.