Posted on March 08, 2013

Tradition and Continuity in Afghan Art, an exhibition showcasing works created by Afghan artists inspired by masterpieces from the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) collection, will open on March 20.

The exhibition, which runs until June 22 at MIA’s temporary exhibition hall, presents 37 works created specifically for the exhibition by the students and teachers of Turquoise Mountain’s Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture in Kabul. Each item was inspired by a historical object in the MIA permanent collection.

The theme of the Ferozkoh exhibition is the preservation of Islamic art in the modern world, and the role of education in its transmission and translation. The exhibition showcases four of the great empires of Afghanistan and their material culture - The Ghaznavids, Timurids, Mughal and Safavids.

These works demonstrate how Afghan artisans have renewed their traditions through effort, wit, skill and imagination. It symbolises, in the most positive way, a deep sense of Afghan pride. It brings together artisans working in very different traditions using different materials - from calligraphic designs chiselled into walnut, to ceramic bowls thrown by potters but carved by woodworkers.

The students and teachers dedicate themselves to Islamic art, and many are absolute masters of their crafts. This is true of each one of the pieces for this exhibition. Turquoise Mountain is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation specialising in urban regeneration, business development, and education in traditional arts and architecture. It provides jobs, skills, and a renewed sense of national pride to Afghan women and men.

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The students and teachers were given special access to the MIA collection when they visited in 2012. These sessions provided unique opportunities to examine the objects in close detail. They were inspired by the historic craftsmanship which sparked ideas for their own works of art.

While they were in Doha, the students benefited from the wide range of artistic and cultural stimuli. They met and talked to artists, curators and designers who encouraged their artistic ambitions. During their time at the MIA, they researched the collection, kept visual diaries and had the freedom to experience the rich variety of Islamic art in the museum.

Each artist proposed ideas for objects that they would design and create when they returned to Kabul. During this process the artists began to realise the benefits of collaboration with artists from other media. This resulted in objects drawing from different traditions and skills, involving group and individual projects.

Over the following nine months, staff from the Museum of Islamic Art and Turquoise Mountain worked together to select and refine the best works. In the exhibition, each newly created work is being displayed with the object that inspired it.

The artists from Turquoise Mountain, who created the works inspired by the MIA collections are: Woodwork - Taqi Rezahy, Hashmatullah Jawadi, Abdul Yaqin Akbary, Dadrahaman Nayazi, Abdul Khaleq Raufy, Mansour Armaghan, Parwin Raufy, Naser Mansori, Said Hakim Hashemy, Ekramullah Nuristani, Khadija Seddiqi, and Hossain Bakhshy.

Jewellery/Gem cutting - Esmatullah Azizy, Monawarshah Qudusi, Mosawarshah Qudusi, Abdul Rashid Zargar. Ceramics - Abdul Matin Malikzadah, Zahirshah Amin, Mohamed Samim Nasimy. Miniatures/Calligraphy - Aref Gholami, Mohamed Saleh Amin, Rita Wafa, Abdul Saboor Omari, Tamim Sahebzada, Helai Habibi, Mohamed Mehdi Banai, Homeira Mastour, Fakhria Nezame, Khwaja Qamaruddin Cheshti and Mohamed Akbar Daftari.

The exhibition timings: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday – 10.30am to 5.30pm; Thursday, Saturday - noon to 8pm, and Friday - 2pm to 8pm.

source: Gulf Times