The Sacred Art

Today Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Centre, Moscow has hosted the manuscripts you have to peer into not read into. The 2nd International Exhibition of Calligraphy has gathered samples of picturesque handwriting from over thirty countries.“

Anchorman, “This is the case of how being of no less importance than what. Objects of contemplation on display are: some sacred Torah texts, gold-chiseled letters of the Holy Koran, Arab lettering woven into carpets, Old Russian scripts, and other elegant sophistications. Sergei Morozov has looked into the matter.”

Sergei Morozov, “In the times when we can generate letters by simply pressing some keys, virtuoso calligraphy produces an extraordinarily astounding impression. All works assembled here have been selected following a particular pattern. Here are some surahs executed by the flying hand of Iranian master Kaboli. Here is the world’s largest Hebrew manuscript; it is folded for its sacred character prohibits public display of the text itself.

Avraham Borshevsky, ”Before embarking on writing a sacred text like this one here it is obligatory to chant a special formula, so to say, a kind of meditation upon what you are about to do, i.e. to follow a certain commandment. For instance, in case you want to write a mezuzah, you have to chant a special mezuzah formula.”

Sergei Morozov, “World-renowned masters of calligraphy are conducting their master-classes right here, within the framework of the exhibition. This is Nja Mahdaoui, a patriarch of calligraphy who decorated the planes of Bahrain and United Arab Emirates. Today, it seems, he has decided to work on ordinary paper. By his side Massimo Polello was creating art in his bold wide strokes. His calligraphy has decorated facades all around Turin. Peter Greenaway was shooting one of his movies in collaboration with the maestro down there.”

Massimo Polello, “Greenaway works with imagery and it was the first time I had to do calligraphy on something other than paper. It was a huge castle and the video was beamed right onto the wall.”

Sergei Morozov, “The National Union of Calligraphers is only one year old. It is headed by Pyotr Chobitko who has created the world’s only handwritten copy of the Constitution of the Russian Federation; hence for him each new amendment is a potential commission. The National Anthem of the Russian Federation, another sacred text for every Russian, has also received a handwritten copy specially executed by Barbara Calzolari, fashion and car designer. She didn’t have the guts to write the text itself for the Cyrillic alphabet requires a particular approach but embarked upon the heading and illumination.

Barbara Calzolari, “National animals and plants are always part and parcel of any national anthem design; thus I managed to learn more about Russia.”

Sergei Morozov, “Japanese and Chinese calligraphy are aloof, as usual. Here the arsenal is way more powerful: tens of thousands of characters instead of a couple of tens of letters.”

“It is curious to compare Western to Eastern calligraphy, for the latter implies writing from top to bottom and from right to left, which, in theory, implies a radically different concept of composition and of the world in general as well. The more a calligraphic canon slackens, the more calligraphy wanders away from its origins. While Hebrew letters are to be written only with ink and without a single error, other traditions allow for vivid ornaments, finding their way into visual arts appearing on dishware, clothing, etc. To sum up, here you can find anything you want.

Source: NTV TV-channel, official website