International calligraphy exhibition in city next month
By Shoaib Ahmed
LAHORE: The Pakistan Calligraphic Artists Guild (PCAG) will hold an international calligraphy exhibition at the Alhamra Centre next month.
A children’s festival and a workshop by foreign artists will also be arranged simultaneously, PCAG Senior Vice President Irfan Ahmed Khan told Daily Times on Tuesday.
Mr Khan said the exhibition would run from October 1 to 22. Punjab Governor Khalid Maqbool will preside over a calligraphic conference on October 2. The children’s calligraphy festival will start the next day.
The calligraphic exhibition will be held on the 4th. Mr Khan said that artists from Iran, Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, China, India, England, Magnolia, Uzbekistan, Italy, Afghanistan and Bosnia had sent their calligraphic works to be displayed at the exhibition.
Mr Khan regretted that the government was not supporting the Islamic art of calligraphy. He said that they had requested the government several times to promote the dying art “but the government did not encourage us”. He said that the governments of Arab countries had set up universities of calligraphic art but there wasn’t such an institution in Pakistan.
He said the PCAG had demanded the government set up a full-fledged calligraphy academy because Pakistan had many talented calligraphers. “Iran is spending millions of rials to promote calligraphy but Pakistan’s Culture Ministry is only restricted to its promises.” He said Pakistan had top class calligraphers and had won the first position in an international calligraphy exhibition held in Iran, participated in by 27 countries, in 2001.
Mr Khan said the PCAG was working for the promotion of calligraphy. “It runs free calligraphy and drawing classes at Alhamra Cultural Complex.”
Mr Khan said that the PCAG was an association registered with the Punjab government. The governing body includes noted calligraphists and painters like Gulgee, Professor Saeed Akhtar, Sufi Khurshid Alam, Syed Anwar Hussain, Nafees Raqam and Dr Shaukat Mehmood. Mr Khan said that calligraphy had been included as a course in art institutions on the orders of Governor Khalid Maqbool because of PCAG efforts. He said that a two-year diploma in calligraphy had been started in the Punjab University and some other art institutions.
PCAG officials Mehboob Ali, Professor Ahmed Khan, Ikarmul Haq, Rana Riaz and Mr Saleem were also present.