“A Sharing Session on Arabic Calligraphy”
SCHOOL OF ART, DESIGN AND MEDIA
Arabic Calligraphy Lecture & Workshop
19 AUGUST 2014. TUESDAY. 1PM-4PM. NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY. SINGAPORE.
When all the students have finally gathered, Dr Gul went to the computer to warm up the class for the calligraphy session. Earlier, she was seen preparing a page from the YouTube site. The cover of the video seemed to be an image of a worn-out page of an archaic Quran, written in Hijazi or Neo-Nabatean script. When she clicked play, the title which appeared to be like “Yasin Suresi” was finally found, and she opened another window in the computer screen which she had prepared the Romanised transcription of that Surah Yasin. So she played a short opening recitation of the first 10 verses of the Surah Yasin, along with the Roman transcripts to guide the students. Indeed it was a beautiful way to begin. Dr Gul then proceeded with few revision slides and some Persian poems that enlighten the philosophies of “The Pen” before handing over to us.
Looking at a class full of designers, inevitably, it is within this wishful thoughts that everyone of them could have probably be good calligraphers if they want to. Nevertheless the old culture of graphic design goes back to classical practise of manuscripts, calligraphy and illuminations, way before keyboards and mouses started to dominate. Not only because they’re designers but, they do really follow the worksheets well, and copied well. However actually, to sit and join them together in their course seems to be much more exciting than presenting scripts to them.
So we had about a good 3 hours of calligraphy session. Apart from trying out the basic fundamentals and guides, we had the students trying out tiny bits of important scripts like Kufi Mushafi, Nasakh, Thuluth, Ta’liq, Riq’ah and Diwani. The idea to introduce them the system of Checkered Kufi was an initial intention, however, we would need another good 2 hours just to have fun with that. Of all, special thanks to Dr Gul Inanc and Prof Peer Mohideen Sathikh for the kind invite. It was truly an honour and a pleasure. We would be pleased to have these sessions again.