Artists from 30 countries to attend Iran Silk Road calligraphy exhibition

January 11, 2021 - 18:38

TEHRAN – Calligraphy works by 203 artists from 30 countries will be showcased at the First Raqs-e Qalam International Exhibition and Conference of the Silk Road Calligraphy.

Artworks by the calligraphers will be put on display in a virtual exhibition, which will officially open on January 20 in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad.

The Iranian National Commission for UNESCO is the main organizer of the exhibition.

Speaking in a press conference on Sunday, the director of the commission, Hojjatollah Ayyubi, said, “Many luminaries believe that calligraphy is the attestation of our many other arts. The commission believes in dialogue between cultures and we are happy to be hosting such a great event.”

“Every night a selection of over 100 works from different countries will be uploaded, while we will keep in touch live with several of the calligraphers. The works will be selected by the Iran Calligraphers Association as the collaborator of the event. Since Mashhad is the main host of the event, one night will also be dedicated to the calligraphers of Mashhad,” he added.

He further noted that a selection of 204 works also to be later published and exhibited in a museum in Mashhad. 

“A selection of the displayed works will later be shown in an exhibition to open in the Iranian Academy of Arts in Tehran on January 24 with a limited number of visitors. The closing ceremony will be held in the Iran Mall, a large shopping mall in Tehran on January 28, where a number of ambassadors will be invited,” he concluded.

The walls across the city of Mashhad, as well as several historical monuments in Tehran and several other cities will be displaying a selection of works through video mapping, a system to use light and movement as mediums and buildings or other surfaces as a canvas for some huge, attention-grabbing statements.

The ancient Silk Road has existed for thousands of years, passing through many different empires, kingdoms, reigns and societies throughout history. At certain times in its long history, traders could travel freely along these routes, whereas at others, travel was difficult or dangerous.

According to UNESCO, the Silk Road enriched the countries it passed through, transporting cultures, religions, languages and, of course, material goods to societies across Europe, Asia and Africa, and uniting them all with a common thread of cultural heritage and plural identities.

There are over 40 countries today along the historic land and maritime Silk Roads, all still bearing witness to the impact of these routes in their culture, traditions and customs.

These vast networks carried more than just merchandise and precious commodities, however. The constant movement and mixing of populations also brought about the transmission of knowledge, ideas, cultures and beliefs, which had a profound impact on the history and civilizations of the Eurasian peoples. 

Travelers along the Silk Roads were attracted not only by trade but also by the intellectual and cultural exchange that was taking place in cities along the Silk Roads, many of which developed into hubs of culture and learning. Science, arts and literature, as well as crafts and technologies, were thus shared and disseminated into societies along the lengths of these routes, and in this way, languages, religions and cultures developed and influenced each other.

Photo: A calligraphy work by Ali Shirazi.


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