To celebrate Iran’s 32nd anniversary of Islamic Revolution in a glorious way, Iranian artists brought the cultural glimpses of Iran to Pakistanis at the week-long Cultural Festival
held at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) in Islamabad
Impressive paintings, inspiring photographs, notable calligraphy, and magnificent inlaid work, engraved work, woodwork, rugs, and handmade metal work were the major artwork on display. “The Progress of Iran after revolution,” is the collection of photographs representing the reconstruction period and industrial, scientific and technological developments of Iran. Pictures titled “In uprising, June of 1963 Imam’s speech” and “Imam’s arrival in Iran” captured the historical moments of Iran.
In his inaugural address Masha Allah Shakiri, said “The everlasting Islamic Art is present till today in front of you which acts as a bridge and links” between the people.
Calligraphic artwork by Ahmad Timouri, was quite striking as the artist has added colorful designs on the border after transforming plain writings into beautiful scripts. “I have inscribed the verses of famous poets such as Bu Ali Seena in Irani Khatti Nastaliq” expressed Timouri.
Abbas Katamjani, the innovator of ‘Burned Work’ – a technique of exclusive calligraphy on wood, was also present at the fair. “I have introduced this artwork for the first time and usually carve on maple by 15 innovated chisel in various shapes made of nickel, iron, lead, copper & brass with a 40-watt soldering iron (tool)” said Abbas.
Upon entering the gallery, the artisans at work greeted the visitors with a gentle smile and readily explained the themes of their artwork to the visitors.
Kumars Ghurchian’s huge paintings filled with rich colours and Mohmammad Khazaee’s miniature paintings with an enchanted look adorned the walls of the main gallery. “I have come to Pakistan for the first time and I’m pleased to meet the people” said Ghurchian. The artist, Khazaee is inspired by Mohammad Farshcian (famous painter of Iran) and after exhibiting his work worldwide, he was pleased to come to Pakistan.
Sparkling art pieces in the form of jewelry boxes, mirrors, clocks, photo frames called inlaid work displayed the splendid Iranian art. “We call it Khatam saazi (meaning art of inlaying) which is the combination of some regular lengths of color woods, brass wires and different bone pieces” informed Reza Nateghpur holding colorful thin wood pieces in his hand. Different materials like walnut, Jujube, Orange and bone, elephant, camel and horse bones and metal wires are used to make such handicrafts, he said.
In the same hall, an Iranian artisan was busy in engraving work, giving a splendid look to ordinary frames and vases. The artisan, Hussain Sarjoghian informed that “few steel chisel and hammers of different weight are used to engrave on metallic articles.” Esfahan is not the centre of the art of engraving in Iran. The designs on the items are often birds and flowers, buildings, calligraphy as well as structures, he told.
On other side of the hall, Mohammad Reza Fakhfori, an artisan engrossed the visitors with his expertise on handwork and block printing on cloth, called ‘Kalam-kaari’. Iranian rugs and sheets with block print covering the walls added a touch of Iran.
Famous Iranian movies like “Rang-e-Khuda (Colour of paradise)” directed by Majid Majidi and “Az Kharkheh Ta Rine (From Kharkheh to Rhine)”, directed by Ibrahim Haatmi were also part of the cultural week. The films highlighted the strong ties of Iranians with their homeland.