Daryā Ba Hubāb Andar    
     
 

Taimoor Khan Mumtaz

Koel hosted a prolific exhibition of calligraphy and illuminations titled “Darya Ba Hubab Andar” (Ocean within a Bubble.), organized by Baytunnur. The title of the exhibition, Darya Ba Hubāb Andar is taken from a verse by the closest disciple and first successor to the great Chishti saint Nizamuddin Auliya (1238-1325), Nasīr-ud-din Mahmūd Chirāgh Dehlavi (1274-1356).

The young generation of artists is becoming aware of their cultural heritage. They are taking keen interest in the arts of their glorious past. The exhibition at Koel aims at reviving the art of illumination modeled on classical techniques and traditions, and also to create awareness and appreciation of the inherent qualities of pure classical calligraphy. The deeper objective is to present carefully chosen texts which offer something both for the mind and for the heart as well as give a taste of the inner dimensions of Islamic spirituality.

Dar sīnae Nasīr-ud-din juz ishq namī gunjad
Īn turfa tamāsha bīn darya ba hubāb andar
(Nasīr-ud-din’s bosom has no space except for Divine Love,
Look at this strange spectacle: an ocean within a bubble)

 Daryā Ba Hubāb Andar presents selections from Arabic and Persian mystical poetry interpreted by some of Pakistan’s finest calligraphers and miniature painters. These verses offer a glimpse into the inner aspects of Islamic spirituality, its doctrines, practices and above all, the experience of the Divine articulated through the simultaneously personal and universal language of poetry.

The selections include verses from: Hazrat Ali (RA), Imam Zainul Abidin (RA), Rumi, Jami, Ibn Arabi, Shushtari, Jili and Hallaj. From the Sub-continent there are verses from Amir Khusrau, Chiragh Dehlavi and Sultan Bahu.

An Ocean within a Bubble I

Nasīr-ud-din Chirāgh Dhelavi( ca 1274-1356 AD)

“Ae zāhid-e-zāhir bīn az qurb chi mī pursī
  ū dar man o man dar ū chūn bū ba gulāb andar”

“O outwardly focused acetic if you ask what nearness is,
[The answer is:] He is in me and I in Him, as is the scent
 within the rose.”

Dar sīnae Nasīr-ud-din juz ishq namī gunjad
 īn turfa tamāsha bīn darya ba hubāb andar

Nasīr-ud-din’s bosom has no space except for Divine Love,
Look at this strange spectacle: an Ocean within a bubble!

CALLIGRAPHERS

Ustad Khurshid Alam Gohar Qalam is a leading master calligrapher of the country. Recipient of the President’s Pride of Performance Award, Ustad Khurshid Alam is the first living Pakistani artist whose work was acquired by the British Museum for its permanent collection.

Taught by the greatest Pakistani calligrapher of his age Hafiz Muhammad Yousuf Sadeedi (1927-1986) Gohar Qalam carries on his teacher’s legacy. He works with ease in Nastaliq, Naskh,Divani, Thuluth and Kufic scripts. He teaches at the National College of Arts.

Ahmed Ali Bhutta (b.1960) is ranked amongst senior calligraphers of Pakistan. He is one of the leading masters of Nastaliq script. A student of Hafiz Muhammad Yousuf Sadeedi, Ahmed Ali Bhutta  carries on his teacher’s style in Nastaliq. He works with ease in Nastaliq, Naskh, Thuluth and Kufic scripts.

In 2007 Ahmed Ali Bhutta won an  award in the Jali Thuluth category in the highly regarded International Calligraphy Competition organized by IRCICA (Research Centre for Islamic History, Art & Culture, Istanbul).

Abdur Rahman Abduhu another recognized master of the art of traditional calligraphy is also a student of Hafiz Muhammad Yousuf Sadeedi. His style has great finesse and force especially in Thuluth, Muhaqiq and Nastaiq scripts.

 

ILLUMINATORS
 
Farah Jabeen (b.1979) received a BFA from National College of Arts Lahore, in miniature painting in 2003. She has participated in a number of group shows in Pakistan and abroad including, Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Kolkata and London. Farah was one of the five miniature artists who took part in Baytunur’s first exhibition at Nairang in Lahore in 2006.

Murad Khan Mumtaz (b.1980) completed his BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore in miniature painting in 2003 and an MFA from Columbia University in, 2010 which he attended on a Fulbright Fellowship. His drawings and paintings were included in solo and group exhibitions in the U.S. and Pakistan, including the inaugural retrospective of Pakistani art at the National Gallery in Islamabad and more recently in Art Basle Miami Beach in the US in December 2010.

Seemee Asif was trained in miniature painting at the Naqsh School of Art, Lahore by the late Ustad Shakeel Ahmed.

Ustad Shakeel Ahmed was the last traditionally trained member of the illustrious miniature painting family of Ustad Haji Sharif.

Ayesha Tahir received a BFA from National College of Arts Lahore, in miniature painting in 2001.
She has taken part in a number of group shows in Pakistan and abroad. Ayesha has taught drawing and miniature painting at NCA.

Farheen Maqsood received a BFA from National College of Arts Lahore, in miniature painting in 2003. She has participated in a number of group and solo shows. Farheen was one of the five miniature artists who took part in Baytunur’s first exhibition at Nairang in Lahore in 2006.

Rohma Nur-e-Haram received a BFA from National College of Arts Lahore, in miniature painting in 2006. She has been participating in Group Shows since 2005 and had her first Solo Show in 2010.

Irfan Ahmad Qureshi (b-1967) has a good command on classical calligraphy, illumination and painting. He is a graphic designer by profession, and is also associated with CCRS (Centre for Conservation and Restoration Studies) at the National College of Arts as a tutor of Illumination. Irfan is one of the founding members of the newly established Hast-o-Neest Centre for Traditional Art & Culture in Lahore.

Besides  miniature painters and calligraphers,  following persons related with art put their effort in various ways in the making of this exhibition possible.

Taimoor Khan  Mumtaz – Concept, Research & Selection
Uzma Mirza – Research
Murad Khan Mumtaz – Art Direction
Farah Jabeen – Visual references
M. Suheyl Umar – Proofing of Persian selection
(Late) Mufti Ghulam Sarwar Qadiri – Diacritical marks on Arabic selection
Qaiser Shehzad – Transliteration of Arabic texts
Sohaib Husayn Sherazi – Transliteration of Persian texts & translation
Syed Uzair – Help with Arabic text diacritical marks
M. Omer Hafeez – Text for Allama Iqbal verse
Syed Mohammed Mehdi – References for Naad-e-Ali
Rizwanullah Khan – Coordinating Poetry Recital & Talk

Founded in 2006, Baytunnur is a trust formed to promote the understanding of tariqat, the inner aspect of Islam.