I know why a caged bird sings. Art and culture.

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Nightingale with lock.

A. A young boy, paper in hand, says an incomprehensible word, picks a special shade of woven wool, and begins to incorporate it into the half-woven rugs on his clothes. Different sounds – but also commands, to color them, to tie more knots, to modify the design, until a whole piece of tapestry is complete. Anyone who ever visits such a place is interested in this form of communication – a secret dialect that is not shared across the country, but is shared by those working in carpet weaving units across Punjab.

In addition to this secular but practical and professional language, another language is attached to the carpet. Flower patterns and geometric shapes are actually codes of complex meaning and refer to faith, spirituality and greatness. The garden we step on could be the garden, even Eden; And what we are hanging on the wall can be the tree of life. In both cases, there is a complete color scheme possible due to the extreme style and the indigenous colors.

Many artists are influenced by the tradition of carpet weaving, but Pervez Tanwali’s interest in this traditional method / painting is more than superficial. Belonging to a society known for its high aesthetic rugs, he collected rugs, and wrote several books on the practice. King, hero and lover.A Lion carpet And Persian Flat Views.. Tanavoli has also created carpet vocabulary works, 1974 screen prints, most recently on display at the Grosvenor Gallery in London.

Anyone familiar with Pervez Tanawoli’s art knows that his inquiries about Persian carpets are not superficial. The entire collection of Tanawoli’s work is embedded in the cultural expression of the region. He is internationally known for his sculptural work and is called the father of modern Iranian sculpture. He has also produced paintings and scholarly works. One of his famous sculptures contains the Persian word. Hatch, Which means ‘nothing’. He says, “The format of this work, which consists of three letters, fascinated me so much that for four or five years I worked on it, many, many Hatches. ”

In the Grosvenor Gallery, screen prints of Tanwali made as a sequence of carpets and tapestries made in Iran were on display from April 26 to May 8, although all of these prints are about 47 years old, but they are traditional carpets. Don’t look as old as Not easily with history and sometimes gaining more meaning, importance and value over time – not as antiquities but as part of everyday existence. A rug should not be used as its essence, as a museum display, but as an integral part of the home – for sitting, stepping, lying down and sleeping. It is only for outsiders that these carpets are foreign pieces, bought and protected like valuables. Because for a traveler, for a cultural tourist, for a European expert جو who is unable to lie down, or can comfortably sit cross-legged, and eat and talk یہ this carpet is more decorative than any practical value. Are important

On the other hand, Pervez Tanawoli, who was born in Tehran in 1937, investigates the process from an internal position. With this privilege, he is able to deviate from the standard sensitivity of carpets. Its prints are reminiscent of the language of pop art, as these carpets are, in a sense, the ‘popular art’ of East and Central Asia. Tensile, admirably, does not follow the general color scheme, traditional shape and traditional materials. Bright colors, from green, red, yellow, vibrant turquoise, pink, peach and gray to black to black, use a colorful layout, bringing together a new story. Ultimately, they were fabricated by tribal weavers, all interpreting the original design differently and providing their own unique answers. Talking about it and traveling in the area from the 60s to the early 70s, Tanavoli recalls: “I saw them make their own carpets by looking at another carpet. And don’t use city-made cartoons. That’s how I decided to make my own carpet. ”

Purely because of this observation, initially the ideas of the carpet – its screen print, manipulation, change and addition – are open. In any case, when an image (or a text for it) is translated into another dictionary / medium, it is bound to change its form and context. Pervez Tanawali’s pieces had the ability to detail. And exhibition catalog documents how a print, Farhad and I., (Originally a painting of the same title from 1973) was edited separately by Qashqa and Lori makers. Perhaps Tanavoli’s greatest contribution continues not with a rich heritage, but with bringing artisans into the realm of contemporary art, acknowledging their aesthetic choices and respecting their pictorial solutions.

In a sense, the interference Tanavoli accepted in his work is what he has done with the tradition of carpet weaving. Tanavoli travels between intervention and invention in his art, especially his 1974 print. The proportions of these screen prints are in accordance with the traditional rectangle of carpets. But it is the image that determines how an artist interacts with tradition, and shapes it. His insights are rooted in the cultural history of Persia, but his vision is that of a modern, fearless, yet respected painter. Aiken patterns stories in a traditional way, he also presents a story in his art, a story about language, love and freedom.

An important-and-readable ‘picture’ of his ‘carpet print’ (or Car print) Of Nightingale. Either in a cage in a block of buildings, or with a closed beak. This state of the birds indicates restrictions (someone here acknowledges the power of Pervez Tanoli’s predictions.) Because of love, because in historical Persian (and Urdu) poetry, it is associated with passion, love songs and desires. Bubble. In another print, a poet – an incredibly tall figure – is holding a hen. Another work, oh, the nightingale, is full of a composite form, partly with human form feet and legs, and partly with modular bird heads, windows and locks.

Farhad is squeezing lemons.

For Tanavoli, the poet and the bird are companions, as seen in The Poet and the Bird, in which the various forms of the human form contain a simple version of the bird. The artist says: “The poet … was free in all human beings. I think of him as a bird in the sky, belonging everywhere.” His last poet of Iran looks like a document, many variations of the poet, without name / identity. A print of the same series quotes the story from Sheikh Sanan’s disciple, with its architectural structure – and the caged bird. Bird Conference, A poem written by Farid-ud-Din Attar in the twelfth century.

Regardless of the details of its subject matter, its characters, its references, it is a way of transforming it into a living and pleasing pattern that connects it to the tradition of carpet weaving as well as the convention of modern art. Mostly evident in his Lion series (Lion and Sword, 2008 and Lion and Sun 2010), in which the wild beast (symbol of political power, king) is presented as a simple toy.

In their colors, shapes and layouts, the people of Tanwali, the birds, the things, are both traditional and modern at the same time. Created by an individual who taught sculpture in Tehran and Minneapolis, and lived in Iran and Canada, Imagery is a reliable proposal for a marriage between the past and the present. Because both the historical Persian carpet and the prints of Pervez Tanwali made in 1974 are works of art that will be “forever new” in the words of DH Lawrence.


The author is a Lahore-based art critic.



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