Traditional calligraphy mesmerises visitors

The display of traditional calligraphy at Lok Mela on Wednesday mesmerised the visitors by providing glimpses of country’s rich culture and its diversity.
The ongoing folk festival at Lok Virsa started on April 12, at Shakarparian, under the auspices of National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, Ministry of National Heritage and Integration.
Apart from other attractions at the festival, the display depicting traditional calligraphy greatly fascinated the visitors and has become one of the major features of the 10-day event.
The works of calligraphist Muhammad Azeem Iqbal, who is into Islamic art and calligraphy for the last twenty five years, has been presented here.
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 addressed evolution of Islamic art and calligraphy in his work. He added a new dimension in this field that may be called 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 symbolises the cultural identity of the 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.
“Pakistan has a deep and historic background of beautiful calligraphic traditions, which needs to be projected. Lok Virsa has therefore taken concrete steps by holding exhibitions of the works of renowned artists like Azeem Iqbal and providing a chance to the young artists to display their skills with the masterpieces of noted calligraphists adding that it would encourage them to make new innovations and creativity in their art,” said Lok Virsa’s Executive Director, Khalid Javaid.
“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,” he added.
For writing, the calligrapher employs a reed pen (qalam) with the working point cut at an angle. This feature produces a thick down stroke and a thin upstroke with infinity of gradation in between.
The line traced by a skilled calligrapher is a true marvel of fluidity and sensitive inflection, communicating the very action of the master’s hand, he maintained.
Azeem Iqbal has also been greatly instrumental in assisting Lok Virsa in creating 3-dimensional creative displays on “Islamic Calligraphy” at the Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology known as Heritage Museum as well as Pakistan Monument Museum at Shakarparian.
Both the museums are of international significance frequented by VVIP delegates, dignitaries and state guests.
(DailyTimes)
Along with many other attractions, the display of traditional calligraphy fascinates the visitors of on-going folk festival ‘Lok Mela’, which provides a glimpse of Pakistan’s rich culture and its diversity.

It presents the works of an established calligraphist, Muhammad Azeem Iqbal, who is into Islamic art and calligraphy for the last twenty-five years. He has introduced a unique identity in his art. Many artists have also endorsed his calligraphic style. Instead of traditional calligraphy, Azeem, 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 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 symbolises 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.

Talking to media, Lok Virsa’s Executive Director Khalid Javaid said: “Pakistan has a deep and historic background of beautiful calligraphic traditions, which needs to be projected. Lok Virsa has therefore taken concrete steps by holding exhibitions of the works of renowned artists like Azeem Iqbal and providing a chance to the young artists to display their skills with the masterpieces of noted calligraphists adding that it would encourage them to make new innovations and creativity in their art”.

He said 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 Quranic revelation to the Prophet Hazrat 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”.

Azeem Iqbal has also been greatly instrumental in assisting Lok Virsa in creating 3-dimensional creative displays on ‘Islamic Calligraphy’ at the Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology known as Heritage Museum as well as Pakistan Monument Museum at Shakarparian. Both the museums are of international significance frequented by VVIP delegates, dignitaries and state guests.
(TheNews)

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