Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  15 / 52 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 15 / 52 Next Page
Page Background

T 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 Architec-

ture 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

Top:

Chiseling between his guidelines, a wood-

carving student at the Turquoise Mountain Institute

for Afghan Arts and Architecture in Kabul carves

out an eight-point floral arabesque.

Above:

Khwaja

Qamaruddin Cheshti, who holds a master’s degree

in Afghan literature from Kabul University, teaches

calligraphy. A painting student,

opposite, top,

fills

in a 16-point geometric composition. All draw upon

Afghanistan's rich and colorful artistic heritage.

Opposite, lower:

This detail shows part of a large,

patterned screen known as

jali

. Produced by a

Turquoise Mountain team of 14 masters and

students, it was inspired by a 13th-century Mughal

stone jali, and it was featured in the "Ferozkoh"

exhibitions in both Doha and London.

July/August 2015

13

AFGHANISTAN IS REGARDED AS “LITTLE MORE

THAN A BATTLEFIELD BY MANY OUTSIDERS, RATHER

THAN ONE OF THE MOST CULTURALLY RICH

COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD.”

—ZAHIRSHAH AMIN,

27-year-old tile-maker

OPPOSITE, LOWER (BACKGROUND): LEIGHTON HOUSE MUSEUM