Known for stupendous and extraordinary flair for his craft, Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi honoured with the country’s highest civil awards, Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, Pride of Performance, Sitara-e-Imtiaz, is also often referred to as Sadequain Naqqash, an artist with extraordinary and dismaying skills both as a calligrapher and a painter. He is considered one of the finest this country has ever produced in the field of visual arts. He was also a poet, having written numerous Rubaiyat, words cannot sum up how larger than life he was as an artist.

Remembering the maestro on his 33rd death anniversary, the SADEQUAIN Foundation USA in collaboration with ArtOne62 Gallery and Dr Salman Ahmed, the C.E.O of SADEQUAIN Foundation, who also happens to be the late artist’s nephew, paid a tribute to the legend by displaying a distinctive collection of his masterpieces which were brought to life by different artists in their medium of choice. The exhibition was initiated in a three-day event at the gallery for people to visit and explore Sadequain’s diverse works which can easily levitate a person’s intellect to a whole new perspective.

I happened to stop by at the gallery on the opening day to see for myself what the exhibition had in store. Never seen any of his work before, I was surprised by the intricacy and detail of his work. Be it his portraits based on the mystic poetry of Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz or his exquisitely striking calligraphic work, one just cannot move on to the next illustration without praising the previous one. Conversing with the PR representative of the foundation Noshaba Siddiqui, she shared, “The SADEQUAIN Foundation is delighted to present this collection of the legend Sadequain consisting of some of his phenomenal works on the account of his 33rd death anniversary at ArtOne62 gallery. The credit behind all the efforts in setting up this event goes to Dr Salman Ahmed. We’ve been witnessing such an amazing response on the first day that art admirers from foreigner countries have also come to appreciate the artist’s extensive work being displayed here. One thing I’d really want you to know is that the artworks presented here in the form of paintings are reproductions from the original work which is authenticated from USA and all the rights belong to Sadequain’s nephew.”

Many gathered at the venue to praise the late artist’s legacy of being an impulsive artist throughout his career and created some groundbreaking pieces of art which can unwind a person’s mind and help him to look upon life from a different perspective. Painting after painting, I tried to understand what impact a painting can have on the beholder. Then, in front of me came a frame which had Sadequain’s picture crafted in a neat and delicate threadwork. I was beyond amazed to witness such a creative piece of art and got to know the creator named Shahnaz. Upon knowing about her presence, I went to her to know the sentiments behind displaying her work at this auspicious event, only to find out that she’s Sadequain’s niece. We indulged in an interesting conversation, she shared, “It’s all in the blood basically and I’ve been associated with arts and craft ever since I can remember. I’m blessed to have been gifted with this talent naturally as I haven’t learnt this from anywhere. I’ve had left this field years ago but started again when everybody encouraged me. I’ll be doing more of it now in the coming exhibitions.” She confirms that Sadequain was a visionary artist with prolific skills and a true artist like him never dies, his work remains alive forever for people to get inspired.

Sadequain was a pioneer in bringing mural art to the nation. He introduced our people with this medium of artistic creativity which was already being practiced worldwide. He has created some stunning pieces with absolute delicacy. Some of his rare illustrations of mural art were put on display at the exhibition which was hidden from the world to explore. Attendees were surely delighted to witness his extra ordinary skills and prowess that spoke louder in the form of his masterpieces.

I saw beautiful transformations of Sadequain’s drawings on fabric which were created with bright colours and precise strokes. Also on the display were intricately made pieces on silk which were a treat for the eyes. Co-founder of ArtOne62 gallery Mr Shahid Malik expressed great pleasure to have collaborated with the SADEQUAIN Foundation to honour the maestro for his distinguished contribution to the world of art. His proficient calligraphic work was highly-acclaimed worldwide and the Khaleej Times declared him to be responsible for the renaissance of Islamic calligraphic art. Sadequain was surely a brilliant artist who has left behind him a complete heritage for the ones who understand. •