The audience gathered outside Durbar Hall Art Gallery, comprising, primarily, fine arts students, listens with rapt attention as Korean calligrapher Kim Jin-Young takes them on a virtual tour of the origin of Korean calligraphy, its evolution and how he worked on designing title fonts of films. Using a translation app, he explains in detail the key aspects of calligraphy. Kim Jin-Young is in Kochi to participate in the first edition of the International Calligraphy Festival of Kerala (ICFK) 2023, which is on at Durbar Hall Art Gallery till October 5.
Sixteen reputed calligraphers from across the country and a few foreign artists are participating in the event organised by Ka Cha Ta Tha Pa Foundation, in association with the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi, Kerala Information and Public Relations department and SH School of Communication, Sacred Heart College, Thevara. Among the programmes planned are workshops, panel discussions, live demos, art performances and exhibitions.
The participating artists include Achyut Palav, Akshaya Thombre, Ashok Namdeo Hinge, Ashok Parab, Inku Kumar, K.C. Janardhan, Mukesh Kumar, Narayan Bhattathiri, Nikheel Aphale, Poosapati Parameshwar Raju, Qamar Dagar, Shipra Rohtagi, D. Udaya Kumar, and G.V. Sreekumar among others. The foreign artists are Michel D’ Anastasio (France), Masoud Mohebbi (Iran) and the South Korean artist Kim Jin-Young.
Spread across the two floors of the gallery, the calligraphy exhibition serves as an introduction to the potential of the art form which is gaining popularity among young artists. The lines between art and text blur creating a magical form where you can ‘read’ art. Text literally becomes art as in the abstract works of Iranian calligrapher Masoud. “I use poetry to create my works. I cannot explain what a work is, it is for the viewer to interpret it and take away their observations,” he says. This is the first time he is taking part in an exhibition in Kerala, he has been to other Indian cities.
The intent of organising the show, says Narayana Bhattathiri, calligraphy artist and founder of the Thiruvananthapuram-based Ka Cha Ta Tha Pa Foundation, is to popularise the art form. “Calligraphy is a barely seen art form in Kerala, this is an attempt at popularising it here. This is an extension of the two national calligraphy exhibitions in Thiruvananthapuram. The response has been good, way beyond our expectations.” He hopes to make the festival an annual affair.
The festival concludes on October 5.