An exhibit highlighting Muslim calligraphy art featured the works of National Artist Abdulmari Imao, Davao artist Kublai Millan, and Persian calligraphy artist Tandis Taghavi during the recent Eid’l Fitr celebrations at S Maison at Conrad Manila.
Mallgoers had a rare glimpse of Expressions of Muslim Culture during the exhibit showing how art can unify all nations, all faiths and all generations.
Spearheaded by the Magbassa Kita Foundation, Inc. (MKFI) headed by former Senator Santanina Rasul and SM with support from Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID), the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and the National Commission of Muslim Filipinos, the festivities served as springboard in building better understanding and appreciation among Filipinos of ethnic, racial, and religious diversity in the country.
As a painter and a sculptor, Sulu native Imao, who was conferred the Order of the National Artist for sculpture in 2006, infused traditional Islamic design with modernist patterns, resulting in vivid works that yearn for local color – like the auspicious sarimanok – and the dream of a unified nation.
Cotabato City-born, University of the Philippines Fine Arts graduate Ray Mudjahid Ponce Millan or better known as Kublai, showcased different mosque images in his canvas paintings – domes, minarets and moons.
He is known for two monumental works: Kampilan in the City of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, and the Risen Christ in the church of Tagum City. He also created the giant durian monument at the Davao International Airport, as well as the giant eagle and Bagobo children at Davao City People’s Park.
On the other hand, Taghavi’s strokes and techniques give audiences a glimpse of her country’s craftsmanship, ingenuity and cultural history. A holder of an extra excellent diploma in the Nastaaligh style in Persian calligraphy, her artworks also show that Persian calligraphy is one of the most revered arts in the Middle East.