The art of writing beautifully, with immaculate perfection defines the art of calligraphy. Perfection is a trait of God, and a trace of it is hidden in human nature too; inherent to our fabric to strive for perfection from the advent of time. As man progressed, so did his communication. From sounds to drawings, then to signs and symbols. The initiation of language and art was simultaneous. Language and communication allowed the abstractions of our mind to become tangible and understood by others. Language is therefore inherently transcendental, serving as a medium between the observed and imagined, the Divine and the profane. With this constant evolution, the art of calligraphy also evolved, and in doing so, it immensely depended upon geometry; the principal of harmony, particularly how everything has been balanced and can somehow be traced to a singular source, point or module, implying the oneness of our origins.
Relying almost completely on the Golden Ratio, calligraphic scripts were created. The Golden Ratio is a term with an astounding number of aliases, including Golden Section and Golden Mean, and has long fascinated Western mathematicians, artists, biologists, philosophers and architects for over 2,400 years. It is a mathematical ratio used to create aesthetically pleasing proportioning within a piece of art, a living organism or even a structure. Observed by biologists to be abundant in nature, theorized by Pythagoras and Euclid, applied by Leonardo da Vinci and Salvador Dali in their paintings and employed by famous Swiss architect Le Corbusier and the chief architect of the Naqsh-e-Jahan Sqaure in Isfahan, Iran, Shaykh Bahai, the presence of the Golden Ratio in nature and in man-made creation points to its Divine nature and humanitys very nature to seek the Divine.
The emphasis on accuracy and perfection in aesthetics and function, coupled with the seriousness of spiritual connotations, has developed within calligraphic principles incalculable formalities and rules; how the script must be measured, a stringent system of formation, beautification of the script and so on. These formalities have been refined to the limit where it becomes almost humanly impossible to reach that perfection, and there are very few who can.
One such individual who has surpassed the limits of perfection and his own benchmarks, time and again is Ustad Khurshid Alam, lovingly awarded the title of Gohar Qalam by his seniors and peers. Ustad Gohar Qalam, one of the worlds most prolific, treasured and celebrated calligraphers needs no introductions.
Author of a staggering number of published books, 16 to be exact, about Islamic art and calligraphy, Gohar Qalam is the only calligrapher from Pakistan whose work is on permanent display in the British Museum and is the only Pakistani artist to feature in the Ashmolean Museum collection in Oxford. His tomes feature these works as katbas of his most perfected writings, written to push himself over his own pinnacle of perfection. Out of these magnificent works some have been included in this presentation. Each one of these writings are unique and precious pieces of art by this grand maestro, and this solo is a presentation of the original, handwritten works, making for a rare display that truly takes the viewer on a transcendental journey.