Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi was a painter, calligrapher, and mural artist as well. He is regarded as one of Pakistan’s finest calligraphers, muralists, and painters.
He has to his name over 15,000 pieces consisting of giant calligraphic murals, figurative art and drawings and not to mention, several thousand pieces of poetry.
Syed Sadeqauin Ahmed Naqvi was born to a family of calligraphers in Amroha, India in 1923. He spent the early years of his life in India; however, he migrated to Pakistan in 1948 and joined the Progressive Writers and Artists Movement of Pakistan.
He was a social commentator, and this is evident in his early work where he sought to portray and illuminate the social evils of society. The artist chose to delve deeper into the unknown, as is reflected in his work.
Sadequain revolutionized and transformed the once dying art of calligraphy and reinvented it into a bright, colorful, and alive medium.
Here are some pictures of his brilliant work.
His faith was strong, his strength was his art and his art was his worship.
This great artist was not only a humble man who rejected the desire to acquire money or power but believed firmly in being honest and kind.
When asked why he never painted beautiful landscapes or butterflies, he replied, “I seek the truth and I am after reality. I am not inspired by someone posing against the backdrop of roses in a vase or pink curtains.
What inspires me is a person who has gone hungry for hours and is struggling for survival. The expression that lights his face at the end of the day when he has finally found some scraps, that is what touches me. I am a painter of the expression of reality.”
While Sadequain was working in Paris during the 1960s, the French newspaper Le Monde et Lavie stated, “The multiplicity of Sadequain’s gift is reminiscent of Picasso.” Such was the caliber of the man.
Sadequain painted more than 45 murals in his life most of which are on display in Pakistan, India, the Middle East, Europe, and North America.
Although he had made a great name for himself in his homeland and beyond, Sadequin never sold his paintings.
He donated his artworks to people and institutions in places as distant as Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Middle East, Austria, Switzerland, France, England, the US, and Canada to name a few.
Moreover, he once gifted 250 paintings to the Pakistan National Council of Arts in Islamabad and used to give away his best works of art for free.
The artistic merit of his work aside, the monetary worth of his donations according to international art institutions exceeds more than a billion dollars.
Syed Sadeqauin Naqvi was a man beyond his time and age, a self-proclaimed fakir, he often responded to queries regarding his unfulfilled desires by reciting a famous line by Ghalib,
“Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ki har khwahish pay dam nikley,
Bahut nikley merey armaan lekin phir bhi kam nikley”
The reason for his undying and immortal success is the fact that he drew satisfaction only from his work, to which he gave everything.
In a materialistic world, Sadequain truly was unique; a man like him come around only once in a generation.