On what would’ve been the 87th birthday of legendary Pakistani artist Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi, Google have paid tribute in the form of a doodle on their front page. Google often does remember influential figures of the past in this manner, and a tribute to Sadequain has been put up on the Search Engine in the Artist’s own calligraphic style.
Google pays tribute to Sadequain a world renowned Pakistani artist artist pic.twitter.com/UwbSvOkBON
— Aaliya Shah (@AaliyaShah1) June 29, 2017
Often reffered to as Sadequain Naqqash, he is considered one of the greatest artists Pakistan has ever produced. Renowned for his skills as a calligrapher and a painter, he was awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in 1960, and a Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 1980. Sadequain was born on June 30, 1923 descending from a family of calligraphers. In late 1940s he joined the Progressive Writers and Artists Movement. His true talent was discovered by Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy who brought Sadequain into the limelight. He also spent some time in Paris augmenting his skills. Sadequain received much praise for his calligraphic style, which is widely considered iconic by many critics of South Asian art.
Sadequain is commended for bringing calligraphy into a mainstream art form, as most of the known Pakistani artists have followed Sadequain and calligraphic art now dominates the art scene.Sadequain also painted classical literature from the poetic verses of Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz. He belonged to the school of thought which enriched realism with lyricism. His work was essentially linear.
Sadequain was the most prolific painter after the independence of Pakistan in 1947. He was constantly at work and he worked on large scale. He repeatedly stated that he was not interested in decorating drawing rooms of rich and powerful. He worked on large murals for public buildings symbolic of the collective labour of humanity, and his work was mostly donated to the public.
Sadequain in his own words was primarily a painter of figures with allegorical significance. Being a true social commentator, his murals depict man’s endless quest to discover and develop the potentialities that lie within him. His murals are densely filled and tightly packed with images to render adequately the lofty subject. In an interview he said, “People ask why I don’t paint flowers, butterflies and landscapes? I tell them that I seek the truth and I am after reality. I am not inspired by someone posing against the backdrop of roses in a vase or pink curtains. What inspires me is a person who has gone hungry for hours and is struggling for survival. The expression that lights his face at the end of the day when he has finally found some scraps, that is what touches me. I am a painter of the expression of reality.” Self-proclaimed “Faqir,” Sadequain was outside society’s worldly greed or hypocrisy and called himself “speaker of truth.”
In nineteen sixties Sadequain was invited by the French authorities to illustrate the award winning novel “The Stranger” by French writer Albert Camus. Sadequain also illustrated on canvas the poetry of Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz as homage to their place in classical literature. Sadequain wrote thousands of quartets, which address a common theme of social and cultural dogmas and published them.
Many on twitter thanked Google for reminding the Pakistani Public of the National Gem that most had forgotten about.
Google pays tribute to Pakistani Artist Sadequain, Nearly forgotten at home pic.twitter.com/70SgLcpUan
— Shahid Hamdam (@shahid_hamdam) June 30, 2017
— Ch Rashid Javed (@mrj192) June 30, 2017
— Old Rawalpindi (@OldRwp) June 30, 2017
— qasim rishi (@qasimrishi) June 29, 2017
We celebrate his birthday with the remembrance of the culture he induced, and the pride he brought to the country.