It was on a relaxed Saturday morning at the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) where we gathered for another exciting session. It was truly a humbling opportunity to have a calligraphy session with a special group of people who are docents from Friends of the Museums (FOM). This private workshop is an exclusive session which begins with a visual lecture of exploring the history of Arabic scripts from semantics, concepts to theories of evolutions and reformations of letterforms which encompasses within a time span of more than 2000 years. Visual characteristics of the scripts were explored through visual specimens of The Holy Quran and various folios from different time and parts of the world.
The practical session followed on with an introduction to the pen, paper and ink; creating the first dot. The first dot, or technically creating the perfect rhombus is an essential fundamental step in developing a letterform. This includes the discipline and handling habits of a calligraphy practitioner. After trying out a series of practicing dots and lines, participants were introduced to try out the basic alphabetic bodies of Nasakh script. The momentum of constant dipping of the reed or bamboo pen into the ink well and writing continued through experiencing the practitioner’s drill. Here, participants will make an attempt to copy simple words such as “Salam”, “Hoob” and “Hikmah”, over and over again until it is close to clone perfection. The last practice was trying out the word “Salam” in 3 different scripts, namely: Riqah, Diwani and Kufi Mushafi. Through these, participants explored the various styles of writing techniques being used on different scripts to write the same word.
So there it goes, a fruitful Saturday morning, with wonderful theoretical sparring exchange and discussions with such a special audience. Thank you Arundhati Sundar for such a wonderful opportunity. We will be pleased to have more of these again!