eL Seed’s New Scripts – Interview by Johnny Hanson for ARAMCO WORLD

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EL SEED SPOKE BY PHONE
FROM HIS DUBAI STUDIO
Let’s start with “calligraffiti.” There are quite a few artists who do it now. Did you coin the term?
No, to be honest with you, this is a term that has been used the first time in New York for a show, I think in ’84. A show created by Jeffrey Deitch for some calligraphy artists and some graffiti artists from New York. He had this vision 30 years ago that calligraphy and graffiti would merge together. To be honest with you, me today, I don’t even use this word to define myself. I’m just using calligraphy in my artwork. I do sculpture, I do canvases, I do art installations. I’m trying to get out of the box that I think I used to be in a few years ago.
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More: http://www.aramcoworld.com/en-US/Articles/July-2017/eL-Seed-s-New-Scripts

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Cracking Coconut’s History Written by Ramin Ganeshram From ARAMCO WORLD

For thousands of years, the coconut palm has entwined itself in history, from tropical coasts to typical shelves in global groceries. Called the “tree of life” by the many cultures that have depended upon it through time, it provides sustenance, succour and shelter. While it now grows on every subtropical coastline around the world, genetic testing underwritten by the National Geographic Society in 2011 showed the coconut originated in India and Southeast Asia. From its original home,  the nut—which can float—made its way independently, traversing both hemispheres. 

But historians also agree that coconuts travelled at the hands of men, and it was most likely seafaring Arab traders who carried coconuts from India to East Africa as much as 2,000 years ago. Even the name they conferred on the fruit— zhawzhat al-hind, which means “walnut of India”—survives in Arabic today.

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BIBLIOTECA ESTENSE / BRIDGEMAN IMAGES

The cocuruto (“crown of the head” in Portuguese), from which the South Asian drupe takes its modern name, was hinted at in the illustration at left printed in a 15th-century edition of Dioscorides’s Tractatus De Herbis; the merchant’s scales allude to the coconut’s value in Europe.

These mariners encountered coconuts as they traded with their Indian counterparts who sailed small, nimble dhows, coast-hugging boats made from teak or coconut-wood planking lashed together with coconut fibre (coir). The dhow was adopted by Arab merchant mariners themselves, and the boats continue to be made today, but with modern materials.

These same traders also introduced coconuts to Europeans, first along the trans-Asian Silk Roads. Among them was the Venetian adventurer Marco Polo, who encountered the tree in Egypt in the 13th century, calling its fruit “the Pharaoh’s nut.”

Beginning in the early 16th century, the coconut came to Europe through the “maritime Silk Road” following explorer-colonizers like Vasco da Gama, who pursued a direct trade route between Portugal and India, guided by maps and navigational information charted by the famed Arab navigator Ahmad ibn Majid a half century before.

From da Gama and other Portuguese traders came the coconut’s contemporary and most recognised international name: They called it coco-nut because it resembled a cocuruto, or skull, with three dots on its ends like two eyes and a mouth and coconut fibers that resembled hair.

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G. DAGLI ORTI / BRIDGEMAN IMAGES

Carried much earlier by Arab traders into Mesopotamia, a coconut palm was depicted in a bas-relief, in the Aleppo Archaeological Museum.
More: http://www.aramcoworld.com/en-US/Articles/January-2017/Cracking-Coconut-s-History

 

The Gazi Scroll of West Bengal

Painted on paper, mounted on cotton, scrolls such as these were used as visual props in storytelling performances in India approximately around 1800 AD.

Handprinted in Murshidabad, this scroll is around 13 meters in length, with 54 frames which narrate the story of Gazi and Manik – two Muslim saints or pirs. 

Patua scroll artists use natural colours borrowed from leaves and fruits to create art work.

More: https://theheritagelab.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/the-gazi-scroll-of-west-bengal/

The Heritage Lab

Gaziscroll_Fotor_Collage The Gazi Pata Scroll, West Bengal; 1800 (circa)

WHAT IS IT?

Painted on paper, mounted on cotton, scrolls such as these were used as visual props in storytelling performances in India approximately around 1800 AD.

Handprinted in Murshidabad, this scroll is around 13 meters in length, with 54 frames which narrate the story of Gazi and Manik – two Muslim saints or pirs. 

Patua scroll artists use natural colours borrowed from leaves and fruits to create art work.

WHAT IS THE STORY?

Through scrolls, legends have been recorded of a ‘pir’, sometimes called Gazi, although this seems to be no more than a generic name for ‘warrior-saint’ or similar. This ‘pir’ not only brought the new faith to the virgin forests of Sunderbans but also settled new converts in these remote areas, cutting down the impenetrable jungle and taming the wild animals, above all the tiger.

The scroll goes on to narrate the…

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A Mughal Shahnamah – British Library Blog

By Ursula Sims-Williams, Asian and African Collections

More: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/asian-and-african/2016/06/a-mughal-shahnamah.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+asian-and-african+%28Asia+and+Africa%29

This copy of the Shāhnāmah is thought to date originally from the 15th century. Unfortunately it has no colophon but it was extensively refurbished in India at the beginning of the 17th century when the 90 illustrations were added. These are numbered consecutively 1-91, only lacking no. 37 which, together with a gap of about 150 verses, is missing at the beginning of the story of Bīzhan and Manīzhah between folios 201v and 202r. The manuscript was altered again in the first half of the 18th century when elaborate paper guards and markers were added. The magnificent decorated binding, however, dates from the early 17th century.

Ferozkoh: Renewing the Arts of the Turquoise Mountain July/August 2015, Written by Lee Lawrence Photographs courtesy of Turquoise Mountain Institute

It is difficult to create art in isolation,” says master calligrapher Khwaja Qamaruddin Cheshti. The artist “needs to be surrounded by older art, and maybe he combines his skills with the inspiration he finds in older pieces.”

Cheshti is speaking through a translator from the Turquoise Mountain Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture in Kabul, Afghanistan. A restored, 19th-century fort in the historic Murad Khane neighborhood, its alcoves topped with delicately pointed arches, it is a fitting backdrop to speak about two weeks he and more than a dozen Afghan artists and craftspeople spent in Doha, Qatar, at the Museum of Islamic Art—or mia—where Cheshti rediscovered this age-old truth.

More: http://www.aramcoworld.com/en-US/Articles/July-2015/Ferozkoh-Renewing-the-Arts-of-the-Turquoise-Mount

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Iranian Artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo Hits Shoreditch

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London Calling Blog

Iranian artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo was in Shoreditch over the weekend painting a piece on Saturday in Redchurch Street and a second one on Monday in Holywell Lane. I was fortunate enough to stumble across this artist, of whom I had not heard of, but was instantly impressed by what I saw. Born in Iran in 1981, Ghadyanloo worked as a farmer, before moving to Tehran and gaining a degree in Fine Art as well as an MA in Animation. Combining these two disciplines with his own approach to street art Ghadyanloo has gone on to become one of the most famous street artists in Iran.

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For the past eight years Ghadyanloo has been involved with the Municipality of Tehran’s Beautification Scheme, promoting mural art in the city. For Ghadyanloo street art is the perfect means to beautify his grey and polluted city. He achieves this through the use of bright colours on a…

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The Walled City of Lahore: Protecting Heritage and History | The Diplomat

Featured Image Credit: Zareen Muzaffar

The Walled City of Lahore program was put into effect in partnership with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

Source: The Walled City of Lahore: Protecting Heritage and History | The Diplomat