may 2014 programmes


Monday 5th to Saturday 10th May
CALLIGRAPHY WEEK – curated  by Qamar Dagar


Monday 5th   6.30 pm      Opening of Exhibition by Dr.  Aruna Vasudeva

Tuesday 6th   6.30 pm     “Road Map of Yasin as a Painter”
                                        documentary film  by Aseem Asha  Usman (54 minutes)

                                         a workshop conducted by 
Aseem Asha Usman

Saturday 10th  6.30 pm   Talk by M. Yasin on Art, History and Techniques

Islamic calligraphy of which Urdu is a derivative is the artistic practice of handwriting, calligraphy and bookmaking in the lands sharing a common Islamic cultural heritage. This art form is based on the Arabic script used to represent God, as figurative art was considered idolatrous. In the hands of Mohammed Yasin, “Allah” and “Mohammed” are invoked as “pictorial calligraphy” combining an expression of his great fervour and profound imagination.

This series of events showcasing one of the premier calligraphers and painters of Delhi is organised by Qalamkaari Creative Calligraphy Trust in collaboration with The Attic and Aseem Asha Foundation.

Monday 5th May,  6.30 pm – Opening of Exhibition by Dr. Aruna Vasudeva

"Mohammed Yasin - A Brush with Life" – an exhibition of Yasin’s paintings and calligraphic works

Mohammed   Yasin born in a village near Hyderabad obtained an advance Diploma in painting.  While still a student he received the Gold Plaque and Lalit  Kala Akademi  Award  in the  5th National Art Exhibition   1959. He studied art   at the East-West   Center, University   of Hawaii and at the  Pratt Graphics Art  Center in New York.

He has held 37 solo shows including Paris  (1990/91), Portugal   (2005) and Jamia Millia  Islamia  University   (1984).  He has received awards from the Lalit Kala Akademi, the Honolulu Academy of Arts and in 2013 the Lifetime Achievement Award by AIFACS (All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society).

His works are in permanent collections of galleries, art museums and art institutions in India and abroad as well as in private collections.



Tuesday 6th May
6.30 pm “Road Map of Yasin as a Painter”,  a documentary film  by Aseem Asha  Usman (54 minutes)

This film is about 84 year old Painter, Graphic Artist & ‘Allah-Om’ calligraphist Mohd. Yasin.

Yasin works in water colours, oil and graphics. In his pictorial calligraphy works of “Allah”, the artiste uses circles, squares and triangles that are intricate and create an aura of holiness and mysticism in patterns. His symbol of ‘OM’ and ÁLLAH’ show the closeness of the two words. His love for nature is evident in his landscapes and he paints human subjects in their social settings.

The film tells the story of a great symbolic artiste who never worked for name or fame. He recites an Urdu couplet, “Duniya Mein Hoon, Duniya Ka Talabgar Nahi Hoon, Bazar Se Guzra Hoon, Kharidar Nahi Hoon” (I live in this world but I don’t expect anything from it. I have passed through the market but I haven’t purchased anything from it)

The film tries to reconnect the art world with a veteran artist who is still searching for himself.

Aseem Asha Usman is a post graduate in Development Communication from Ajk College of Arts & Science, Tamil Nadu. He has founded a creative group “Flying Birds of India”. For detailed bio see below.


Thursday, 8th May  

2 - 5 pm  DOCUMENTARY MAKING TECHNIQUES – a workshop conducted by  Aseem Asha Usman

A documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality for instruction or maintaining a historical record. Such films now include video and digital productions and since it is continually evolving it is without clear boundaries. The genre includes many types from film verite to recently successful releases of films such as Fahrenheit 9/11, Super Size Me, Food, Inc. and An Inconvenient Truth. Compared to dramatic narrative films, documentaries have far lower budgets than commercial films.

This workshop titled “Media Training through the Art Documentation workshop” will cover the following aspects of documentary film making.

          -    Research/ Idea building/ Questionnaire 
    Story boarding
    Photo Documentation of the Art
    Video Documentation of the Art
    Sound Recording
    Film Editing

Aim & Objective of the workshop

-          Developing understanding for various forms of Art
          Developing a sense of Photo & Video documentation for it
          Exposure to career possibility in art media/ visual art communication
          Learning & Sharing Educational Process

Aseem Asha Usman teaches performing arts, film, and new media at his centers to women and children, especially girls, from the slum areas of Jafrabad-Seelampur and Okhla Village. He has trained more than thousand individuals to raise their voices through making more than one hundred short films and digital stories based on their own issues. His group Flying Birds of India began as a small gathering of women and developed into a group that helped to bring about awareness of their issues peacefully in a very democratic manner using a variety of creative mediums.

He made several short films on local as well as celebrated calligraphers, painters, dancers, potters, singers, embroiders, carpenters and block printers. The resultant films have been screened in marginalized and mainstream communities.  

His group has been running the Tagore Peace Campaign. He has presented three annual Tagore Utsavs especially for non-Bengali communities and showcased the creative works of Tagore in Jamia Millia Islamia campus. He developed “Finding A Voice” a project funded by UNESCO, QUT and UNDP to highlight the issues of marginalized communities. His non-profit Aseem Asha Foundation teaches performing arts, film and new media at his centres to women and children from the slum areas of Jafrabad-Seelempur and Okhla village.

Aseem is the recipient of Global Indian ‘Karmaveer Puraskar’ which was given to him in December 2011 for his creative peace initiatives

 Registration required. Charges Rs 1500/-  to be paid in advance.

Please email for registration and send payment by cash or cheque (Amarjit Bhagwant Singh Charitable Trust) to  shop no. 10 Regal Building, Parliament Street, New Delhi 110001. Tel 23746050

Saturday 10th May
6.30 pm “Art, History and Techniques” a talk by Mohammed Yasin

Mohammed Yasin will talk about his exploration of the art world, about his discoveries during his residencies in Hawaii and at the Pratt Graphics Art Center in New York. He talks about his experiences in trying out new techniques in lithography, etching, aquatint, engraving, dry point, serigraphy, mezzotint and others.

He will also share his experience about his calligraphic works and how they are related not only with the Almighty but with many other facets of his life.

One can find a symbolic dimension in his depiction of life force and love at work through nature.  His paintings are usually bright and colourful in sharp contrast to his calligraphic works on display at this exhibition (Dry point/Pen and Ink).

Qamar Dagar through her organisation Qalamkaari Creative Calligraphy Trust expresses her own passion and love for this form of art and her determination to contribute to its revival. This Calligraphy Week is part of her campaign to give exposure to various calligraphers and open the minds of art lovers.

 Since the early nineties she works in Hindi and Urdu scripts using alphabets/letters as art material giving a visual interpretation to a chosen theme. She has been fascinated by the world of letters, as the physical features get translated into a pictorial form. She sees them both as individual design and as living entities that get their power with the dedication to the written word.

She belongs to a family of renowned classical musicians of India but she was always drawn towards visual arts. After her graduation in sociology from the University of Delhi she travelled to Europe as an accompanying musician. Brought up with music compositions in Hindi and Sanskrit, and Urdu spoken at home she developed a fascination for the richness of these languages which was encouraged by Amir Abdullah Khan her spiritual and calligraphy guide.

She has exhibited in The Attic, The Sacred Arts Festival, Delhi, Sufi Rang Festival, Ajmer Sharif, the IIC, Teen Murti Bhavan, Akshara in Delhi and Paris at the UNESCO amongst others and Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur. She represented India at International Calligraphy Festival in Iran.  She has works in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Calligraphy, Moskow and at MOSA, Museum of Spiritual Art in Belgium.

She continues to be active in both music and calligraphy.


 tuesday 13th may
6.30 pm “Delhi’s Diplomatic Domains” a talk by Gladys Abankwa-Meier-Klodt

All the glory of the architecture of New Delhi seems to have gone to the original architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. Much has happened after that in Delhi. Stein (the India International Centre, Ford Foundation and the American School), Habib Rahman (Maulana Azad's Memorial, IP Bhavan and the WHO building), Walter George (St Stephens College and Sujan Singh Park), Achyut Kanvinde (Science Museum), Mansingh Rana (Bal Bhavan, Shanti Van), Charles Correa (Crafts Museum, LIC Building). These architects were students of famous architecture schools in the Western world or studied under and were influenced by world famous modernist architects such as Eliel Saarinen, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright and Walter Gropius.

Another neglected aspect of the architecture of Delhi are the diplomatic missions in Chanakyapuri with their rich diversity and eclectic architectural styles – the Polish embassy residence, an unexpected Art Deco treasure, the Belgian embassy designed by Satish Gujral considered to be one of the 1000 most important buildings of the 19th century, The embassy of Finland designed by Raili and Reima Pietilä, brings you the spirit and soul of faraway Finland and also a gem the Embassy of Spain on Prithviraj Road designed by TEAM.

Gladys Abankwa-Meier-Klodt, wife of a German diplomat and temporary acting Ambassador to the German Embassy in India between 2011and 2012 was struck by the interesting architectural styles of the embassies in Delhi. She was unable to find any books on the subject and so decided to write Delhi’s Diplomatic Domains. Having access to over 40 of New Delhi’s purpose-built  and heritage  property foreign missions she gives a glimpse, through archival material, anecdotal accounts, photographs and maps, the history of their establishment,   historical  relationships  with India, as  well  as the architecture,  interiors and landscaping  of these diplomatic domains.

Gladys was  brought up in North America  and Ghana by two career diplomats.  A former microbiologist with two degrees from  McGill University,   Canada, she belatedly embraced her affinity for the creative arts. She has been writing, designing and training others to communicate across cultures for the last 15 years.